Here is the encouraging article regarding American Express:
NEW YORK (AP) -- American Express Co. on Wednesday reported that the rate its customers defaulted on their cards fell again in January.
The New York-based company continues to have the lowest charge-off rate in the industry, mainly because its customer base is more affluent and because it maintains tight control on problem accounts.
Amex also reported that late payments remained steady for the month.
DEFAULT: American Express wrote off 2.2 percent of balances on an annualized basis for the month. That was down slightly from 2.3 percent of balances in December. The rate is well below the 3.8 percent charge-off rate a year ago.
LATE PAYMENTS: Payments on 1.4 percent of balances were delinquent, or late by 30 days or more, in January. That was unchanged from the prior month. The delinquency rate was 2.1 percent in January 2011.
PEAK RATES: Amex's worst month for charge-offs came in April 2009, when they hit 10.4 percent. Card companies typically write off loans after they are six months past due.
Delinquencies reached their highest point in February 2009 at 5.3 percent. The figure is an indicator for what to expect for defaults in coming months.
American Express shares slipped 30 cents to $51.66 in afternoon trading. end quote from: