American Express Business Travel Reaffirms Commitment to Small and Mid-Sized
Companies Through Launch of 'aXcentis'

New Brand Introduces New Capabilities and Enhanced Services Providing a Local and Flexible Approach to Travel, Expense and Cash Flow Management

MARKHAM, ON, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - American Express Canada today announced the launch of aXcentis, a comprehensive travel management program that is local in its delivery and flexible in its design. The newly branded and enhanced offering addresses the needs of small to mid-sized companies who previously may not have had access to travel management programs. aXcentis is able to deliver tailored service with local relevance and global travel management expertise, 24 hours a day.

"aXcentis is part of an enhanced suite of services and new capabilities designed to address the evolution of small to mid-sized companies that need a sophisticated managed travel program at a reasonable cost," said Lyell Farquharson, Vice President and General Manager, Business Travel Canada, American Express. "We have a strong history of working with small and mid-sized firms, but many of our capabilities have been hidden. It was important to launch aXcentis as a way to demonstrate our commitment to these companies and raise the awareness for our services to help them get their travellers back on the road and growing their business."

Because business travel can have a positive impact on growing revenue, and companies with a managed travel program can achieve a greater return, aXcentis has been designed to ensure companies do not under-invest or overspend as their need for travel increases in line with economic revival.

Farquharson continued, "A challenge of companies is that many do not have a dedicated travel department internally, and with the economic downturn, most businesses were forced to cut back on resources and spending decked against travel services. Now, in what we see as the new normal, companies will begin travelling again but there is an opportunity to do so wisely in what will likely remain a cash-constrained environment in the foreseeable future."

Transcending the basic tools and practices traditionally employed by small and mid-sized businesses, aXcentis manages 100 per cent of total travel and expense spending with a focus on:

    
    -   Program Strategy - aXcentis applies proprietary methodology to
        evaluate a company's current travel and expense process, identifies
        areas of improvement and matches a comprehensive, business goal-
        driven program with clearly defined measurements for return on travel
        investment.

    -   Cash Flow Management/Spend Recycling - aXcentis employs a system to
        manage budget spent on unused travel so these resources can be
        applied to future trips, which can free up cash to invest in other
        business areas.

    -   Insight and benchmarking - aXcentis uses the world's largest travel
        and expenses database to deliver business intelligence that informs
        sourcing and spend efforts and provides the basis benchmarking and
        performance measurement.
    

Ongoing program management is handled through a local and dedicated aXcentis client management team that will work with companies to optimize their program and provide counsel to help them realize the greatest return on travel spending. Clients also have access to experienced travel counsellors who understand the needs of companies and are available 24 hours a day.

Additional benefits of aXcentis include:

    
    -   Access to exclusive negotiated deals with suppliers and the lowest
        total trip costs

    -   An automated travel manager suite, including a pre-trip auditor and
        authorization tools, which support travel policy both on and offline.
        Additionally, traveller tracking tools are included to help companies
        identify where their travellers are at all times

    -   A meetings management package that includes a self-service booking
        tool for smaller meetings and access to a meetings desk of experts to
        assist with larger meetings.

    -   Tools to calculate potential savings, recover unused airline tickets
        automatically, and manage expenses online.
    

Including Canada, aXcentis is being rolled out in six key markets: US, Australia, France, UK, and Nordics.

About aXcentis - by American Express Business Travel

aXcentis is backed by nearly a century of American Express experience in providing travel management services to business of all sizes and travel budgets. Through aXcentis, small to medium-sized companies have access to a broad array of travel services through local account management and a reliable and experienced global organization. A focus on driving savings and control over travel and related spending through a proactive and consultative approach can help companies achieve a positive return on travel investment. Our reach may be global, but at the heart of our success are businesses just like yours.

About American Express Business Travel

American Express Business Travel (www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel), a division of American Express Company, is committed to helping its clients maximize the greatest return on their travel investment through increased cost savings, world-class customer service and greater spending control. Ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations, American Express Business Travel provides a combination of industry-leading technology, travel management consulting, strategic sourcing and supplier negotiation support, alongside global customer service available online and offline. The Company also provides a dynamic online community (www.BusinessTravelConneXion.com) harnessing the collective intelligence of those in the business travel industry offering a variety of perspectives, best practices, current research and industry news.

American Express operates one of the world's largest travel agency networks with locations in over 140 countries worldwide.

American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

    
    About American Express in Canada
    --------------------------------
    

American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc., the largest operating unit of the American Express Company. Amex Bank of Canada is the issuer of American Express Cards in Canada. Amex Canada Inc. operates the Corporate Travel, Travel Services Network and Travellers Cheque divisions in Canada. American Express opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs 3,700 Canadians coast-to-coast.

SOURCE American Express

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: For American Express Canada: Christine Law, Brees PR, (416) 644-2284, claw@breespr.com; Kathryn Perry, Brees PR, (416) 644-2269, kperry@breespr.com

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