AmEx to Cough Up $75M Over Deceptive Practices
335K consumers will get refunds for credit card add-on programs
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2013 3:49 PM CST
In this Tuesday, July 19, 2011, file photo, passersby walk past an American Express logo near the entrance to a bank in Cambridge, Mass..   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – American Express has agreed to pony up $75.7 million over what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is calling "deceptive marketing to sell credit card add-on products," reports the LA Times. Some $59.5 million of that will go toward refunds to the 335,000-plus consumers who were affected; the remainder is in fines. Part of the problem was an account protection product, notes the AP. Consumers were led to believe protection would last two years, when in fact it was often no more than three months. Additionally many consumers were billed even though they never completed enrollment.

AmEx says that the affected programs—which included Identity Protect, Account Protector, and Lost Wallet Protector—have already been canceled, and that it "continues to conduct internal reviews designed to identify issues, correct them and ensure that its products and practices meet a high standard of quality." Richard Cordray, CFPB's director, meanwhile, warns that companies "should be on notice of this issue."