American Express has agreed to refund $85 million to 250,000 customers and pay $27.5 million in civil penalties for violating numerous consumer protection laws. Among the infractions: Misleading people who applied for the company's Blue Sky credit card program into believing they would get a $300 payment they never received, charging improper late payments, and deceiving customers about the benefits of paying off old debts, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said. The action against American Express "was the third by the new consumer bureau involving major credit card companies." Last week, Discover Financial Services agreed to refund $200 million to credit card customers and pay a $14-million civil penalty for violations related to add-on products, such as payment-protection plans. In July, Capital One agreed to refund $150 million to credit card customers for deceptive marketing practices.
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