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Costco takes new credit card

American Express plans co-branding

SEATTLE -- American Express is the first of the Big Three credit cards to be accepted by Costco, and two types of co-branded credit cards will be issued this fall, executives of both companies said Wednesday.

Starting in November, consumers can buy a no-annual-fee revolving credit card that will double as a Costco membership card and provide cash rebates on purchases that are charged at the warehouse discount stores under the new arrangement.

Business operators with Costco accounts will be able to obtain a no-annual-fee, no-spending-limit American Express corporate card providing discounts on purchases from companies such as IBM, Federal Express, Hilton, Hertz and Mobil Oil but without rebates.

They are the first co-branded retail cards to be issued by American Express, which has similar co-branded cards with Delta Airlines and Hilton Hotels, said David C. House, president of American Express Establishment Services Worldwide.

Both cards will be usable wherever American Express cards are accepted. Applications will be available starting in November at Costco outlets and on the Internet. Interest rates and other details will be announced later in the year.

Existing American Express cards can be used starting now at Costco, which also has its own credit cards and accepts Discover cards but does not accept MasterCard or Visa.