American Express Co. posted declines in credit card defaults and late payments for May.

The company reported Friday that payments on 1.2% of balances were delinquent, or late by 30 days or more, down from 1.3% in April. The delinquency rate was 1.6% in May 2011. The figure is considered an indicator for what to expect for defaults in coming months.

The company wrote off 2.2% of balances on an annualized basis for the month. That's down from 2.4% in April. The rate also was 2.4% in February and March. The May rate is well below the 3.2% charge-off rate a year ago.

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