Macy's Inc. announced Wednesday the repurchase of $500 million of debt maturing in the next three years and a credit card co-branding deal with American Express Co.

The department store giant will replace its existing Visa Inc.-branded cards with American Express cards by yearend. The Macy's and Bloomingdale's cards will continue to be issued by Citigroup Inc.

American Express' lending business was a particular bane during the recession, but loan woes may have peaked last year.

Macy's, meanwhile, has seen sales brighten in recent months. The resulting increase in cash flow helped the company repurchase the senior notes for $526 million.

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