American Express this week expanded on its first quarter report, indicating that its U.S. volume for small business rose 22% during the quarter, compared to 20% growth within the consumer card business and 15% within Corporate Services. Overall, AmEx’s U.S. volume for the first quarter rose 19% to $70.1 billion. Total billed business outside the USA, excluding the impact of foreign exchange translation, was up 13%. AmEx also reported that net card fees increased 5% during 1Q/04, reflecting the growth in cards-in-force. The average fee per proprietary card-in-force was steady at $35 for both the three months ended March 31, 2004 and 2003. Marketing, promotion, rewards and cardholder services expenses increased 39% compared to the prior year on the continuation of business building activities and increased rewards costs, reflecting the strong volume growth and the continued increase in cardholder loyalty program participation and higher redemptions. AmEx noted that worldwide airline related volumes, which represented 13% of total billed business volumes during the quarter, rose 20% as a result of 15% growth in transaction volume and a 4% increase in the average airline charge. For complete details on AmEx’s first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).