Do You Still Know Me?

American Express is moving downscale with a new line of credit cards offering (choke!) revolving debt &

Yes, membership had its privileges. For as little as $55 a year, consumers could twinkle in fellowship with such glitterati as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Ella Fitzgerald and Meryl Streep. All one had to do was wave one's little piece of green, gold or platinum plastic, and waiters and clerks would fawn prettily. Such potent snob appeal once seemed irresistible -- until American Express "cardmembers" began weighing the costs of privilege against the benefits of more plebeian credit cards. While the AmEx elite shelled out annual fees, Discover clients were issued free cards. Amex users had to pay their bills in full each...

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