Earllier this year American Express announced the end of the partnership with Costco as the two companies failed to agree on new terms. This was considered to be a significant blow to Amex as 11 million of the 112 million American Express cards in circulation were co-branded with Costco.
Amex’s stock price is down 20% year-to-date, far below the 6% decline in S&P 500 during the same period.
In an attempt to make up for some of this loss, American Express recently partnered with Sam’s Club. Sam’s Club has 650 stores across the U.S. compared to Costco’s 470. However, in 2014 Costco rang up more than $112 billion in sales, nearly double the $58 billion in sales at Sam’s Club stores.
All 650 Sam’s Club locations will start accepting American Express credit cards as of today. If you’re not a Sam’s Club member you can also get $25 off your membership when using your American Express card.
While this was a much needed move from American Express, the deal will not offset losses incurred from cutting ties with Costco. Unlike its partnership with Costco where it was the exclusive credit card partner, American Express will have to compete with Visa, MasterCard and Discover at Sam’s Club. Forbes crunched the numbers and it looks like Amex might get $45 million in revenues from Sam’s Club, which is far from the $300 million in transaction fee revenues it earned from Costco.
If you’re in NYC like me, getting to a Sam’s Club might be a nice road trip, either to NJ or Suffolk county in Long Island. Maybe one day I will visit a Sam’s Club.