Higher card spend boosts American Express

AMERICAN Express’ profits climbed seven per cent in the first quarter to $1.26bn (£0.79bn), beating Wall Street estimates as customers spent more on their credit cards.

Revenues grew by eight per cent to $7.61bn as spending on the network rose by 12 per cent.

Amex cardholders spent an average of $3,772 a month, up from $3,438 a year earlier.

The credit card company set aside $412m to cover future loan losses – more than four times the amount it designated last year.