American Express Co. is offering a $300 incentive for customers to cancel their accounts as the card issuer and payments processor grapples with surging loan delinquencies and reduced card-member spending.

The move comes as credit rating firms have warned that rising credit-card delinquencies could push the charge-off rate into the double-digits by the end of the year from December's record level of 7.7% amid higher unemployment and a bleak economic outlook.

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