American Express Co.'s profit jumped 71% in the third quarter as it set aside less to cover credit card losses and consumer spending rose.

Its net income, after paying preferred dividends, rose to $1.08 billion in the third quarter, Amex said Thursday. Its revenue rose 38%, to $6.66 billion from a year earlier.

In the U.S., cardholder spending rose 13%, with the average cardholder spending $3,219, up from $2,851 in the third quarter of 2009.

The total amount charged on Amex cards in the U.S. during the quarter was $95.2 billion. Worldwide cardholder spending totaled $179.3 billion, up 14% from a year earlier.

Also helping boost results was the smaller provision for credit losses. Amex set aside just $373 million during the period to cover losses, down 68% from the $1.18 billion it allocated in the same period last year.

Net chargeoffs dropped to 5.2%, from 8.9% a year earlier.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.