The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ordered American Express to immediately refund an estimated $59.5 million to more than 335,000 consumers for illegal credit card practices.
These practices included unfair billing tactics and deceptive marketing with respect to credit card "add-on products" such as payment protection and credit monitoring. American Express will pay an additional $9.6 million in civil penalties to the CFPB.
"We first warned companies last year About Using deceptive marketing to sell credit card add-on products, and everyone should be on notice of this issue," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Today we are refunding thousands of American Express customers who were harmed by these illegal practices. Consumers deserve to be treated fairly and should not pay for services they do not receive."
The Bureau has been coordinating this public action with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to identify and address these issues.
The FDIC is fining American Express Centurion Bank $3.6 million and the OCC is fining American Express Bank, FSB $3 million. This is the fourth action the Bureau has taken in coordination with fellow regulators to address illegal practices with respect to credit card add-on products.