Statement of Financial Position [Abstract] Schedule of Variable Interest Entities [Table] Schedule of Variable Interest Entities [Table] Variable Interest Entities [Axis] Variable Interest Entities [Axis] Variable Interest Entity, Classification [Domain] Variable Interest Entity, Classification [Domain] Variable Interest Entity Variable Interest Entity, Primary Beneficiary [Member] Statement [Line Items] Statement [Line Items] Assets Assets [Abstract] Cash and cash equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents, at Carrying Value [Abstract] Securities purchased under resale agreements Securities Purchased under Agreements to Resell Accounts receivable Accounts Receivable, after Allowance for Credit Loss [Abstract] Card Member receivables, gross Financing Receivable, before Allowance for Credit Loss Card Member receivables, reserves Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss Other receivables, reserves Allowance for Doubtful Accounts, Premiums and Other Receivables Loans Loans and Leases Receivable, Net Amount [Abstract] Card Member loans, gross Loans and Leases Receivable, Net of Deferred Income Card Member loans, reserves Loans and Leases Receivable, Allowance Other loans, reserves Other Loans Allowance Reserves for Losses, Other Loans. Accumulated depreciation and amortization Accumulated Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization, Property, Plant, and Equipment Restricted cash included in Other assets per Consolidated Balance Sheets Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents Liabilities [Abstract] Liabilities [Abstract] Long-term Debt Long-term Debt Preferred shares, par value (in dollars per share) Preferred Stock, Par or Stated Value Per Share Preferred shares, authorized Preferred Stock, Shares Authorized Preferred shares, issued Preferred Stock, Shares Issued Preferred shares, outstanding Preferred Stock, Shares Outstanding Common shares, par value (in dollars per share) Common Stock, Par or Stated Value Per Share Common shares, authorized Common Stock, Shares Authorized Common shares, issued Common Stock, Shares, Issued Common shares, outstanding Common Stock, Shares, Outstanding Shareholders' Equity Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Parent [Abstract] Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax [Abstract] Net unrealized securities gains, tax Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income Loss Available For Sale Securities Tax Tax effect on the gross appreciation or the gross loss, net of reclassification adjustment, in the value of available for sale securities. Foreign currency translation adjustments, tax Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income Loss Foreign Currency Translation Adjustment Tax Tax effect on the accumulated adjustment that results from the process of translating subsidiary financial statements and foreign equity investments into functional currency of the reporting entity. Net unrealized pension and other postretirement benefits, tax Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income Loss Defined Benefit Plans Tax Tax effects on the accumulated comprehensive income (loss) related to benefit plans. Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract] Financing Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss [Table] Financing Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss [Table] Statistical Measurement [Axis] Statistical Measurement [Axis] Statistical Measurement [Domain] Statistical Measurement [Domain] Minimum [Member] Minimum [Member] Maximum [Member] Maximum [Member] Financing Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss [Line Items] Financing Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss [Line Items] Allowance for credit losses net increase, Card Member loans and receivables (as a percentage) Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss, Increase (Decrease), Percent Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss, Period Increase (Decrease), Percent Allowance for credit losses net increase, Card Member loans (as a percentage) Financing Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss, Increase (Decrease), Percent Financing Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss, Increase (Decrease), Percent Right-of-use asset obtained in exchange for operating lease liability Right-of-Use Asset Obtained in Exchange for Operating Lease Liability Fair Value Disclosures [Abstract] Fair value assets and liabilities measured on recurring basis Schedule of Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring Basis [Table Text Block] Estimated fair value of financial assets and financial liabilities Fair Value, by Balance Sheet Grouping [Table Text Block] Receivables [Abstract] Card Member Loans And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Table] Card Member Loans And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment Axis [Axis] Card Member Loans And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment Axis [Axis] Card Member Loans And Related Reserves [Domain] Card Member Loans And Related Reserves [Domain] Card member loans evaluated separately and collectively for impairment [Member] Card member loans evaluated separately and collectively for impairment [Member] Card Member Loans And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Line Items] Card Member Loans And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Line Items] Card Member loans evaluated separately for impairment Financing Receivable, Individually Evaluated for Impairment Reserves on Card Member loans evaluated separately for impairment Financing Receivable, Allowance for Credit Losses, Individually Evaluated for Impairment Card Member loans evaluated collectively for impairment Financing Receivable, Collectively Evaluated for Impairment Reserves on Card Member loans evaluated collectively for impairment Financing Receivable, Allowance for Credit Losses, Collectively Evaluated for Impairment Statement of Cash Flows [Abstract] Sale of premises and equipment Proceeds from Sale of Property, Plant, and Equipment Cash and cash equivalents per Consolidated Balance Sheets Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Federal Funds Sold Total Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash Equivalents Loans Notes Trade And Other Receivables Disclosure [Abstract] Loans notes trade and other receivables disclosure abstract. Financing Receivable, Troubled Debt Restructuring [Table] Financing Receivable, Troubled Debt Restructuring [Table] Class of Financing Receivable [Axis] Class of Financing Receivable [Axis] Class of Financing Receivable [Domain] Class of Financing Receivable [Domain] Card Member Loans [Member] Card Member Loans [Member] Reflects the aggregate carrying amount of Card Member loans held in portfolio. Card Member Receivables [Member] Card Member Receivables [Member] Represents Card Member receivables that are the amount due from customers or clients for goods or services that have been delivered or sold in the normal course of business Financing Receivable, Troubled Debt Restructuring [Line Items] Financing Receivable, Troubled Debt Restructuring [Line Items] Number of Accounts (in thousands) Financing Receivable, Troubled Debt Restructuring, Subsequent Default, Number of Contracts Aggregated Outstanding Balance Upon Payment Default Financing Receivable, Troubled Debt Restructuring, Subsequent Default Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Attributable to Parent [Abstract] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Component [Domain] Equity Component [Domain] Accumulated Other Comprehensive (Loss) Income [Member] AOCI Attributable to Parent [Member] Net Unrealized Gains (Losses) on Investment Securities [Member] AOCI, Accumulated Gain (Loss), Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Parent [Member] Foreign Currency Translation Adjustments [Member] Accumulated Foreign Currency Adjustment Attributable to Parent [Member] Net Unrealized Pension and Other Postretirement Gains (Losses) [Member] Accumulated Defined Benefit Plans Adjustment Attributable to Parent [Member] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Line Items] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Line Items] Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax [Abstract] Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax [Abstract] AOCI Attributable to Parent, Net of Tax [Roll Forward] AOCI Attributable to Parent, Net of Tax [Roll Forward] Beginning balance Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Net unrealized gains Other Comprehensive Income Net Unrealized Gains Losses Net Of Tax The total net unrealized holding gain/loss that has been included as a separate component of other comprehensive income (loss) during the period. Net translation of investments in foreign operations Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Foreign Currency Transaction and Translation Adjustment, Net of Tax Net gains (losses) related to hedges of investment in foreign operations Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Cash Flow Hedge, Gain (Loss), after Reclassification and Tax Pension and other postretirement benefits Other Comprehensive (Income) Loss, Defined Benefit Plan, after Tax and Reclassification Adjustment, Attributable to Parent Other Unrealized gains and losses moved from AOCI to retained earnings due to the adoption of new accounting guidance Unrealized gains and losses moved from AOCI to retained earnings due to adoption of new accounting guidance Net change in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Portion Attributable to Parent Balance as of end of period Tax impact for the changes in each component of accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveLossIncomeTaxImpactChangeDisclosure[Abstract] Investment securities Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Securities, Available-for-sale, Tax Foreign currency translation adjustments Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Foreign Currency Translation Adjustment, Tax, Portion Attributable to Parent Net investment hedges Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Cash Flow Hedge, Gain (Loss), after Reclassification, Tax Pension and other postretirement benefits Other Comprehensive (Income) Loss, Defined Benefit Plan, after Reclassification Adjustment, Tax Total tax impact Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Tax Changes in the Card Member loans reserve for losses Cardmember Loans Reserves Rollforward [Table Text Block] Cardmember Loans Reserves Rollforward [Table Text Block] Card Member loans and related reserves evaluated separately and collectively for impairment Cardmember Loans And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Table Text Block] Cardmember Loans And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Table Text Block] Changes in the Card Member receivable reserve for losses Financing Receivable, Current, Allowance for Credit Loss [Table Text Block] Card Member receivables and related reserves evaluated separately and collectively for impairment Cardmember Receivables And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Table Text Block] Cardmember Receivables And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Table Text Block] Earnings Per Share [Abstract] Computation of basic and diluted EPS Schedule of Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Table Text Block] Investments, Debt and Equity Securities [Abstract] Schedule of Available-for-sale Securities [Table] Schedule of Available-for-sale Securities [Table] Financial Instrument [Axis] Financial Instrument [Axis] Financial Instruments [Domain] Financial Instruments [Domain] US States and Political Subdivisions Debt Securities [Member] US States and Political Subdivisions Debt Securities [Member] US Treasury Securities [Member] US Treasury Securities [Member] Debt Securities, Available-for-sale [Line Items] Debt Securities, Available-for-sale [Line Items] Available-for-sale investment securities with gross unrealized losses and length of time Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Unrealized Loss Position1 [Abstract] Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Unrealized Loss Position1 [Abstract] Estimated Fair Value, Less than 12 months Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Continuous Unrealized Loss Position, Less than 12 Months Estimated Fair Value, 12 months or more Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Continuous Unrealized Loss Position, 12 Months or Longer Available For Sale Securities Continuous Unrealized Aggregate Losses [Abstract] Available For Sale Securities Continuous Unrealized Aggregate Losses [Abstract] Gross Unrealized Losses, Less than 12 Months Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Continuous Unrealized Loss Position, Less than 12 Months, Accumulated Loss Gross Unrealized Losses, 12 months or more Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Continuous Unrealized Loss Position, 12 Months or Longer, Accumulated Loss Fair Value, Recurring and Nonrecurring [Table] Fair Value, Recurring and Nonrecurring [Table] Measurement Frequency [Axis] Measurement Frequency [Axis] Measurement Frequency [Domain] Measurement Frequency [Domain] Fair Value, Nonrecurring [Member] Fair Value, Nonrecurring [Member] Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Line Items] Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Line Items] Assets measured at fair value for impairment Assets Fair Value Disclosure Nonrecurring1 Other Fees and Commissions and Other Expenses [Abstract] Other Fees and Commissions and Other Expenses Other Commissions And Fees Other Commissions And Fees [Table Text Block] Other Commissions And Fees [Table Text Block] Other Net Expense Other Net Expense [Table Text Block] Other Net Expense [Table Text Block] Banking and Thrift [Abstract] Certificate Of Deposits By Location [Table] Certificate Of Deposits By Location [Table] Certificate Of Deposits By Location [Table] Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Domain] Geographical [Domain] United States [Member] UNITED STATES Non-US [Member] Non-US [Member] Certificate Of Deposits By Location [Line Items] Certificate Of Deposits By Location [Line Items] Certificate Of Deposits By Location [Line Items] Time Deposits By Maturity Time Deposits, Fiscal Year Maturity [Abstract] 2019 Time Deposit Maturities, Next Twelve Months 2020 Time Deposit Maturities, Year Two 2021 Time Deposit Maturities, Year Three 2022 Time Deposit Maturities, Year Four 2023 Time Deposit Maturities, Year Five After 5 years Time Deposit Maturities, after Year Five Total Time Deposits Weighted average remaining maturity (in months) Weighted Average Maturity Certificates of Deposits Weighted Average Maturity Certificates of Deposits Weighted average interest rate (as a percentage) Weighted Average Rate Domestic Deposit, Certificates of Deposit Ratio Of Fair Value To Amortized Cost [Axis] Ratio Of Fair Value To Amortized Cost [Axis] Available for Sale Securities Ratio of Fair Value to Amortized Cost Axis Ratio Of Fair Value To Amortized Cost [Domain] Ratio Of Fair Value To Amortized Cost [Domain] Ratio of fair value to amortized cost domain Ratio Of Fair Value To Amortized Cost Between Ninety And One Hundred Percent [Member] Ratio Of Fair Value To Amortized Cost Between Ninety And One Hundred Percent [Member] Ratio Of Fair Value To Amortized Cost Between Ninety And One Hundred Percent Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Continuous Unrealized Loss Position, Number of Positions [Abstract] Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Continuous Unrealized Loss Position, Number of Positions [Abstract] Number of securities, less than 12 months Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Continuous Unrealized Loss Position, Less than 12 Months, Number of Positions Number of securities, 12 months or more Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Continuous Unrealized Loss Position, 12 Months or Longer, Number of Positions Number of securities, total Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Unrealized Loss Position, Number of Positions Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Unrealized Loss Position [Line Items] Estimated Fair Value, Total Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Unrealized Loss Position Gross Unrealized Losses, Total Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Unrealized Loss Position, Accumulated Loss Changes In Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income Comprehensive Income (Loss) Note [Text Block] Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract] Income Taxes Income Tax Disclosure [Text Block] Deposits By Component Alternative Deposits By Component Alternative [Table Text Block] Deposits By Component Alternative [Table Text Block] Deposits By Type Deposits By Type [Table Text Block] Deposits By Type [Table Text Block] Time Deposits By Maturity Time Deposits By Maturity [Table Text Block] Time Deposits By Maturity [Table Text Block] Time Deposits $250,000 Or More Time Deposits 250000 Or More [Table Text Block] Time Deposits 250000 Or More [Table Text Block] Fair Value, by Balance Sheet Grouping [Table] Fair Value, by Balance Sheet Grouping [Table] Measurement Basis [Axis] Measurement Basis [Axis] Fair Value Measurement [Domain] Fair Value Measurement [Domain] Portion at Fair Value Measurement [Member] Portion at Fair Value Measurement [Member] Reported Value Measurement [Member] Reported Value Measurement [Member] Estimate of Fair Value Measurement [Member] Estimate of Fair Value Measurement [Member] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Axis] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Axis] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Domain] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Domain] Fair Value, Inputs, Level 1 [Member] Fair Value, Inputs, Level 1 [Member] Fair Value, Inputs, Level 2 [Member] Fair Value, Inputs, Level 2 [Member] Fair Value, Inputs, Level 3 [Member] Fair Value, Inputs, Level 3 [Member] Variable Interest Entity, Primary Beneficiary [Member] Fair Value, Balance Sheet Grouping, Financial Statement Captions [Line Items] Fair Value, Balance Sheet Grouping, Financial Statement Captions [Line Items] Financial Assets: Financial Instruments, Financial Assets, Balance Sheet Groupings [Abstract] Financial assets for which carrying values equal or approximate fair value Financial Instruments Assets Which Carrying Values Equal Or Approximate Fair Value [Abstract] Financial assets for which carrying values equal or approximate fair value include cash and cash equivalents, cardmember receivables, accrued interest, and certain other assets. For these assets, the carrying values approximate fair value because they are short-term in duration or variable rate in nature. Other financial assets Other Assets, Fair Value Disclosure Financial assets carried at other than fair value Assets Carried At Other Than Fair Value [Abstract] Loans, Net Loans, Net Represents cardmember and other loans, less reserves. Financial Liabilities: Financial Instruments, Financial Liabilities, Balance Sheet Groupings [Abstract] Financial liabilities for which carrying values equal or approximate fair value Financial Instruments Liabilities Which Carrying Values Equal Or Approximate Fair Value Financial liabilities for which carrying values equal or approximate fair value include accrued interest, customer deposits (excluding certificates of deposit), Travelers Cheques outstanding, short-term borrowings, and certain other liabilities for which the carrying values approximate fair value because they are short-term in duration, variable rate in nature, or have no defined maturity. Financial liabilities carried at other than fair value Liabilities Carried At Other Than Fair Value [Abstract] Certificates of deposit Long-term debt Fair Values (Textuals) [Abstract] Fair Values (Textuals) [Abstract] Accounts receivable, less reserves Accounts Receivable, after Allowance for Credit Loss Card Member loans, net Loans and Leases Receivable, Net Amount Schedule of Accounts, Notes, Loans and Financing Receivable [Table] Schedule of Accounts, Notes, Loans and Financing Receivable [Table] Segments [Axis] Segments [Axis] Segments [Domain] Segments [Domain] Global Consumer Services Group [Member] Global Consumer Services Group [Member] Represents Global Consumer Services Group reportable operating segment. Global Commercial Services [Member] Global Commercial Services [Member] Impaired Loans By Modification Type [Line Items] Impaired Loans By Modification Type [Line Items] Line items abstract Impaired loans and receivables Loan and Lease Receivables, Impaired [Abstract] Loans over 90 days past due and accruing interest Financing Receivable, 90 Days or More Past Due, Still Accruing Non-accrual loans Loans and Leases Receivable, Nonperforming, Nonaccrual of Interest Loans and receivables modified as a Troubled Debt Restructuring in Program Financing Receivable, Troubled Debt Restructuring Loans and receivables modified as Troubled Debt Restructuring Out of Program Loans and receivables modified as Troubled Debt Restructuring Out of Program Loans and receivables modified as a Troubled Debt Restructuring Out of Program Total impaired loans and receivables Impaired Financing Receivable, Recorded Investment Unpaid principal balance Impaired Financing Receivable, Unpaid Principal Balance Related allowance for Troubled Debt Restructurings Impaired Financing Receivable, Related Allowance Accounts Receivable and Loans Textuals [Abstract] Accounts Receivable and Loans Textuals [Abstract] Accounts Receivable and Loans. Total loans and receivables modified as a TDR, past due 90 days and still accruing Loans And Receivables Impaired Troubled Debt Restructuring Amount Over Ninety Days Accrual Of Interest Recorded investment in financing receivables that have been modified in a Troubled Debt Restructuring and are 90 days or more past due and still accruing interest. Total loans and receivables modified as a TDR, non-accrual Loans And Receivables Impaired Troubled Debt Restructuring Amount Non Accrual Status Recorded investment in financing receivables that have been modified in a Troubled Debt Restructuring and are on nonaccrual status as of the balance sheet date. Out of Program TDR accounts that completed modification programs Loans And Receivables Impaired Troubled Debt Restructuring Amount in Compliance Out of Program TDRs that have succesfully completed a modification program Out of Program TDR accounts not in compliance with modification programs Loans And Receivables Impaired Troubled Debt Restructuring Amount Not in Compliance Out of Program TDRs accounts that were not in compliance with the terms of modification programs Statement of Comprehensive Income [Abstract] Net income Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Parent Other comprehensive (loss) income: Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Portion Attributable to Parent [Abstract] Net unrealized debt securities gains (losses), net of tax Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Available-for-sale Securities Adjustment, Net of Tax, Portion Attributable to Parent Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of tax Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Foreign Currency Transaction and Translation Adjustment, Net of Tax, Portion Attributable to Parent Net unrealized pension and other postretirement benefits, net of tax Other comprehensive (loss) income Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Comprehensive income Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Attributable to Parent Other Fees and Commissions and Other Expenses Other Income and Other Expense Disclosure [Text Block] Asset Securitizations [Abstract] Securitized Trusts [Table] Securitized Trusts [Table] SecuritizedTrustsTable Legal Entity [Axis] Legal Entity [Axis] Entity [Domain] Entity [Domain] American Express Lending Trust [Member] American Express Lending Trust [Member] This category includes information about the American Express Company Lending Trust, a variable interest entity of the Company. American Express Charge Trust [Member] American Express Charge Trust [Member] This category includes information about the American Express Company Charge Trust, a variable interest entity of the Company. Assets from Trusts [Line Items] Assets from Trusts [Line Items] Investment Securities Investments in Debt and Marketable Equity Securities (and Certain Trading Assets) Disclosure [Text Block] Schedule of Available for Sale Securities by Type Schedule of Available-for-sale Securities Reconciliation [Table Text Block] Available-for-sale Securities, Continuous Unrealized Loss Position, Fair Value Schedule of Unrealized Loss on Investments [Table Text Block] Available for Sale Securities Ratio of Fair Value to Amortized Cost Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Unrealized Loss Position, Fair Value [Table Text Block] Contractual maturities of investment securities Investments Classified by Contractual Maturity Date [Table Text Block] Contractual maturities of investment securities Available-for-sale Securities, Debt Maturities [Abstract] Available For Sale Securities Debt Maturities Amortized Cost [Abstract] Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Amortized Cost, Fiscal Year Maturity [Abstract] Due within 1 year Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Maturity, Allocated and Single Maturity Date, within One Year, Amortized Cost Due after 1 year but within 5 years Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Maturity, Allocated and Single Maturity Date, after One Through Five Years, Amortized Cost Due after 5 years but within 10 years Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Maturity, Allocated and Single Maturity Date, after Five Through Ten Years, Amortized Cost Due after 10 years Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Allocated and Single Maturity Date, Maturity, after 10 Years, Amortized Cost Total Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Amortized Cost Estimated Fair Value Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Fair Value, Fiscal Year Maturity [Abstract] Estimated Fair Value, Due within 1 year Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Maturity, Allocated and Single Maturity Date, within One Year, Fair Value Estimated Fair Value, Due after 1 year but within 5 years Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Maturity, Allocated and Single Maturity Date, after One Through Five Years, Fair Value Estimated Fair Value, Due after 5 years but within 10 years Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Maturity, Allocated and Single Maturity Date, after Five Through Ten Years, Fair Value Estimated Fair Value, Due after 10 years Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Maturity, Allocated and Single Maturity Date, after 10 Years, Fair Value Total Debt Securities, Available-for-sale Restricted cash held by trusts Restrictions on Cash and Cash Equivalents [Table Text Block] Cover page. Document Type Document Type Amendment Flag Amendment Flag Document Quarterly Report Document Quarterly Report Document Period End Date Document Period End Date Document Transition Report Document Transition Report Entity File Number Entity File Number Entity Registrant Name Entity Registrant Name Entity Central Index Key Entity Central Index Key Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code Entity Tax Identification Number Entity Tax Identification Number Entity Address, Address Line One Entity Address, Address Line One Entity Address, City or Town Entity Address, City or Town Entity Address, State or Province Entity Address, State or Province Entity Address, Postal Zip Code Entity Address, Postal Zip Code City Area Code City Area Code Local Phone Number Local Phone Number Title of 12(b) Security Title of 12(b) Security Trading Symbol Trading Symbol Security Exchange Name Security Exchange Name Entity Current Reporting Status Entity Current Reporting Status Entity Interactive Data Current Entity Interactive Data Current Entity Filer Category Entity Filer Category Entity Emerging Growth Company Entity Emerging Growth Company Entity Small Business Entity Small Business Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding Current Fiscal Year End Date Current Fiscal Year End Date Document Fiscal Year Focus Document Fiscal Year Focus Document Fiscal Period Focus Document Fiscal Period Focus Entity Shell Company Entity Shell Company Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract] Contingencies (Textuals) [Abstract] Loss Contingency, Estimate [Abstract] Loss Contingencies [Table] Loss Contingencies [Table] Loss Contingencies [Line Items] Loss Contingencies [Line Items] Current estimated range of possible loss Loss Contingency, Estimate of Possible Loss Segment Reporting [Abstract] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Global Merchant and Network Services [Member] Global Merchant and Network Services [Member] Represents Global Merchant and Network Services reportable operating segment. Corporate and Other [Member] Corporate and Other [Member] Segment Reporting Information [Line Items] Segment Reporting Information [Line Items] Non-interest revenues Noninterest Income Revenue from contracts with customers Revenue from Contract with Customer, Excluding Assessed Tax Interest income Interest and Dividend Income, Operating Interest expense Interest Expense Total revenues, net of interest expense Revenues, Net of Interest Expense Total assets Assets Operating segment information Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table Text Block] Components of comprehensive income (loss), net of tax Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table Text Block] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss Income - Tax Effect Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss Income Tax Effect Disclosure [Table Text Block] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Loss Income Tax Effect Disclosure [Table Text Block] Card Member receivables segment and other loans detail Schedule of Accounts, Notes, Loans and Financing Receivable [Table Text Block] Aging of Card Member loans and receivables Financing Receivable, Past Due [Table Text Block] Credit quality indicators for loans and receivables Financing Receivable Credit Quality Indicators [Table Text Block] Impaired Card Member loans and receivables Impaired Financing Receivables [Table Text Block] Interest income recognized and average balance of impaired Card Member loans and receivables Financing Receivable Interest Income And Average Balance [Table Text Block] Tabular disclosure of interest income recognized and average balances of impaired cardmember loans and receivables. Troubled debt restructurings Financing Receivable, Troubled Debt Restructuring [Table Text Block] Troubled debt restructurings that subsequently defaulted Troubled Debt Restructurings On Financing Receivables With Subsequent Default1 [Table Text Block] Troubled Debt Restructurings On Financing Receivables With Subsequent Default1 [Table Text Block] Global Small Business Services [Member] Global Small Business Services [Member] Global Small Business Services LOB Global Corporate Payments [Member] Global Corporate Payments [Member] Credit Quality Indicator For Loans And Receivables[Axis] CreditQualityIndicatorForLoansAndReceivablesAxis [Axis] Credit Quality Indicator [Domain] Credit Quality Indicator [Domain] Credit Quality Indicator [Domain] Net Write-Off Rate - Principal Only [Member] Net Write-Off Rate Principal [Member] Represents the amount of Card Member loans or Card Member receivables written off consisting of principal (resulting from authorized transactions), less recoveries, as a percentage of the average loan balance or average receivables during the period. Net Write-Off Rate Principal Interest, and Fees [Member] Net Write-Off Rate Principal Interest, and Fees [Member] Represents the amount of Card Member loans or Card Member receivables written off consisting of principal, interest, and fees (resulting from authorized transactions), less recoveries, as a percentage of the average loan balance or average receivables during the period. 30 Days Past Due as a % of Total [Member] Thirty Days Past Due As Percentage Of Total [Member] Represents metric calculated as accounts receivable or loans that are 30 days past due expressed as a percentage of total accounts receivables or loans. Net Loss Ratio as a % of Charge Volume [Member] Net Loss Ratio As Percentage Of Charge Volume [Member] Represents the ratio of charge card write-offs consisting of principal (resulting from authorized and unauthorized transactions) and fee components, less recoveries, on Card Member receivables expressed as a percentage of gross amounts billed to cardmembers. 90 days past billing as a percentage of receivables [Member} Ninety Days Past Billing As Percentage Of Receivables [Member] Represents metric calculated as Card Member receivables that are 90 days past billing expressed as a percentage of total Card Member receivables. Accounts, Notes, Loans and Financing Receivable [Line Items] Accounts, Notes, Loans and Financing Receivable [Line Items] Credit Quality Indicator for Loans and Receivables Credit Quality Indicator for Loans and Receivables [Abstract] Credit Quality Indicators Financing Receivable, Credit Quality, Additional Information1 Financing Receivable, Credit Quality, Additional Information1 Receivable Type [Axis] Receivable Type [Axis] Receivable [Domain] Receivable [Domain] Troubled Debt Restructuring [Member] Troubled Debt Restructuring [Member] Foreign Currency Translation Adjustments [Member] ForeignCurrencyTranslationAdjustmentsMember [Member] Other Items [Member] OtherItemsMember [Member] Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss [Roll Forward] Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss [Roll Forward] Balance, January 1 Provisions Accounts Receivable, Credit Loss Expense (Reversal) Net write-offs Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss, Writeoff Other Allowance For Doubtful Accounts Receivable Adjustments Allowance For Doubtful Accounts Receivable Adjustments Balance, June 30 Recoveries Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Credit Loss, Recovery Asset Securitizations Asset Securitizations [Text Block] This disclosure of financial assets transferred to a trust (for example, cardmember receivables and loans) whereby the trust then issues securities to third-party investors and these securities are collateralized by the transferred assets. The nature of any restrictions on assets reported by an entity in its statement of financial position that relate to a transferred financial asset is also disclosed. The required disclosures may be provided in more than one note to the financial statements, as long as the GAAP disclosure objectives are met. Customer Deposits Deposit Liabilities Disclosures [Text Block] Statement of Stockholders' Equity [Abstract] Statement [Table] Statement [Table] Class of Stock [Axis] Class of Stock [Axis] Class of Stock [Domain] Class of Stock [Domain] Series B Preferred Stock [Member] Series B Preferred Stock [Member] Series C Preferred Stock [Member] Series C Preferred Stock [Member] Preferred Shares [Member] Preferred Stock [Member] Common Shares [Member] Common Stock [Member] Additional Paid-in Capital [Member] Additional Paid-in Capital [Member] AOCI Attributable to Parent [Member] Retained Earnings [Member] Retained Earnings [Member] Increase (Decrease) in Stockholders' Equity [Roll Forward] Increase (Decrease) in Stockholders' Equity [Roll Forward] Beginning Balance Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Parent Other comprehensive income (loss) Repurchase of common shares Treasury Stock, Value, Acquired, Cost Method Other changes, primarily employee plans Stockholders' Equity, Other Cash dividends declared preferred Dividends, Preferred Stock, Cash Cash dividends declared common Dividends, Common Stock Ending Balance Number of Accounts Financing Receivable, Modifications, Number of Contracts Outstanding Balances Financing Receivable, Troubled Debt Restructuring, Postmodification Average Interest Rate Reduction (as a percentage) Average Interest Rate Reduction By Class Of Financial Instrument The average basis point reduction in interest rate by class of Financial Instrument Average Payment Term Extension (in months) Average Payment Term Extension The average period for payment term extension for cardmember receivables modified in a TDR. Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Abstract] Derivatives and Hedging Activities Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Text Block] Cash Flows from Operating Activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities [Abstract] Adjustments to reconcile income from continuing operations to net cash provided by operating activities: Adjustments to Reconcile Net Income (Loss) to Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities [Abstract] Provisions for losses Provision for Loan, Lease, and Other Losses Depreciation and amortization Depreciation, Amortization and Accretion, Net Deferred taxes and other Other Noncash Income (Expense) Stock-based compensation Share-based Payment Arrangement, Noncash Expense Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisitions and dispositions: Increase (Decrease) in Operating Capital [Abstract] Other receivables Increase (Decrease) in Other Receivables Other assets Increase (Decrease) in Other Operating Assets Accounts payable and other liabilities Increase (Decrease) in Accounts Payable and Other Operating Liabilities Travelers Cheques and other prepaid products Increase (Decrease) In Travelers Cheques Outstanding The increase (decrease) during the reporting period in unencashed travelers cheques outstanding. Net cash provided by operating activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities Cash Flows from Investing Activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities [Abstract] Maturities and redemptions of investment securities Proceeds from Maturities, Prepayments and Calls of Debt Securities, Available-for-sale Purchase of investments Payments to Acquire Investments Net increase in Card Member loans and receivables, and other loans Payments for (Proceeds from) Loans and Leases Purchase of premises and equipment, net of sales Payments to Acquire Property, Plant, and Equipment Acquisitions/Dispositions, net of cash acquired Payments for (Proceeds from) Businesses and Interest in Affiliates Other investing activities, net Payments for (Proceeds from) Other Investing Activities Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities Cash Flows from Financing Activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities [Abstract] Net increase (decrease) in customer deposits Increase (Decrease) in Deposits Net decrease in short-term borrowings Proceeds from (Repayments of) Short-term Debt Proceeds from long-term borrowings Proceeds from Issuance of Long-term Debt Payments of long-term borrowings Repayments of Long-term Debt Issuance of American Express common shares Proceeds from Issuance of Common Stock Repurchase of American Express common shares and other Payments for Repurchases of Common Shares And Other Repurchase of American Express common shares and other Dividends paid Payments of Dividends Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities Effect of foreign currency exchange rates on cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash Effect of Exchange Rate on Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash Equivalents Net decrease in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash Equivalents, Period Increase (Decrease), Including Exchange Rate Effect Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of period Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of period Financing Receivables Period Past Due [Axis] Financial Asset, Period Past Due [Axis] Financing Receivables Period Past Due [Domain] Financial Asset, Period Past Due [Domain] Financial Asset, 30 to 59 Days Past Due [Member] Financial Asset, 30 to 59 Days Past Due [Member] Financial Asset, 60 to 89 Days Past Due [Member] Financial Asset, 60 to 89 Days Past Due [Member] 90+ days past due [Member] Financial Asset, Equal to or Greater than 90 Days Past Due [Member] Financing Receivable, Recorded Investment, by Class of Financing Receivable [Axis] Financing Receivable, Recorded Investment, Class of Financing Receivable [Domain] Financing receivable recorded investment aging Financing Receivable, Recorded Investment, Aging [Abstract] Current Financing Receivable, Not Past Due Period past due Financing Receivable, Past Due Card Member loans total aging Card Member receivables total aging Reportable Operating Segments Segment Reporting Disclosure [Text Block] Fair Values Fair Value Disclosures [Text Block] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] Other Assets [Member] Other Assets [Member] US Government Agencies Debt Securities [Member] US Government Agencies Debt Securities [Member] Corporate Debt Securities [Member] Corporate Debt Securities [Member] Mortgage-backed Securities, Issued by US Government Sponsored Enterprises [Member] Mortgage-backed Securities, Issued by US Government Sponsored Enterprises [Member] Debt Security, Government, Non-US [Member] Debt Security, Government, Non-US [Member] Available-for-sale debt securities: Debt Securities, Available-for-sale [Abstract] Available-for-sale debt securities, Cost Available-for-sale debt securities, Gross Unrealized Gains Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Unrealized Gain Available-for-sale debt securities, Gross Unrealized Losses Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Unrealized Loss Available-for-sale debt securities, Estimated Fair Value Equity securities Equity Securities, FV-NI, Unrealized Gain (Loss) [Abstract] Equity securities, Cost Equity Securities, FV-NI, Cost Equity securities, Gross Unrealized Gains Equity Securities, FV-NI, Unrealized Gain Equity securities, Gross Unrealized Losses Equity Securities, FV-NI, Unrealized Loss Equity securities, Estimated Fair Value Equity Securities, FV-NI Total Cost Debt and Equity Securities, Available-for-sale, Amortized Cost Debt and Equity Securities, Available-for-sale, Amortized Cost Total Gross Unrealized Gains Debt and Equity Securities, Unrealized Gain Debt and Equity Securities, Unrealized Gain Total Gross Unrealized Losses Debt and Equity Securities, Unrealized Loss Debt and Equity Securities, Unrealized Loss Total Estimated Fair Value Debt and Equity Securities, Available-for-sale Debt and Equity Securities, Available-for-sale Accounts receivable segment information Accounts Receivable Segment [Abstract] Accounts Receivable Segment. Card Member receivables Less: Reserve for losses Card Member receivables, net Other receivables, net Other Receivables Asset Securitizations (Details) [Abstract] Asset Securitizations. Securitized Trusts [Line Items] Securitized Trusts [Line Items] SecuritizedTrustsLineItems Direct and Indirect ownership of variable interests direct and indirect ownership of variable interests Direct and Indirect ownership of variable interests with the exception of the debt securities issued to third party investors. Income Statement [Abstract] Earnings allocated to participating share awards Dilutive Securities, Effect on Basic Earnings Per Share, Options and Restrictive Stock Units Dividends, Preferred Stock Dividends, Preferred Stock Fair Values Derivatives, Balance Sheet Location, by Derivative Contract Type [Table] Fair Values Derivatives, Balance Sheet Location, by Derivative Contract Type [Table] Derivative Instrument [Axis] Derivative Instrument [Axis] Derivative Contract [Domain] Derivative Contract [Domain] Fair Value Hedging [Member] Fair Value Hedging [Member] Net Investment Hedges [Member] Net Investment Hedging [Member] Income Statement Location [Axis] Income Statement Location [Axis] Income Statement Location [Domain] Income Statement Location [Domain] Other Expense [Member] Other Expense [Member] Derivative [Line Items] Derivative [Line Items] Derivative asset not offset Derivative Fair Value Of Derivative Asset Not Offset Against Collateral Fair value of derivative assets that are permitted under a master netting arrangement, but elected not to be presented as an offset against an obligation to return collateral received against such assets. Derivative liabilities not offset Derivative Fair Value Of Derivative Liability Not Offset Against Collateral Fair value of derivative liabilities that are permitted under a master netting arrangement, but elected not to be presented as an offset against the right to receive collateral paid against such liabilities. Margin on interest rate swaps Margin On Interest Rate Swap Not Netted Amount posted as initial margin for centrally cleared interest rate swaps which is not netted against the derivative balances. Notional amount of long-term debt Derivative, Amount of Hedged Item Cumulative amount of fair value hedging adjustment Cummulative Fair Value Hedging Adjustment Of Hedged Item In Fair Value Hedge Cumulative FV hedging adjustments Net increase (reduction) in interest expense on long term debt and other Net Reduction To Interest Expense Long Term Debt And Other Related To Net Settlements On Fair Value Hedges Represents the amount of a net reduction to interest expense on long-term debt and other, primarily related to the net settlements on the Company's fair value hedges. Notional amounts of derivatives Derivative Liability, Notional Amount Gain (loss) on net investment hedges, net of taxes Gain (loss) in changes in fair value of derivatives not designated as hedges Gain (Loss) in Changes of Fair Value of Derivatives not designated as hedges Changes in the fair value of the derivatives and the related underlying foreign currency exposure Changes in fair value of an embedded derivative Embedded Derivative, Loss on Embedded Derivative Card Member Receivables And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment Table [Table] Card Member Receivables And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Axis] Card Member Receivables And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Axis] Card Member Receivables And Related Reserves [Domain] Card Member Receivables And Related Reserves [Domain] Card Member Receivables Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Member] Card Member Receivables Evaluated Separately And Collectively For Impairment [Member] Card Member Receivables And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately and Collectively For Impairment [Line Items] Card Member Receivables And Related Reserves Evaluated Separately and Collectively For Impairment [Line Items] Card Member receivables evaluated separately for impairment Reserves on Card Member receivables evaluated separately for impairment Card Member receivables evaluated collectively for impairment Reserves on Card Member receivables evaluated collectively for impairment Cash dividends declared Cash Dividends [Line items] Common stock, dividend per share (in dollars per share) Common Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Declared Preferred stock, dividend per share (in dollars per share) Preferred Stock, Dividends Per Share, Declared Cash and due from banks Cash and Due from Banks Interest-bearing deposits in other banks (includes securities purchased under resale agreements) Interest-bearing Deposits in Banks and Other Financial Institutions Short-term investment securities Cash Equivalents, at Carrying Value Total cash and cash equivalents Card Member receivables (includes gross receivables available to settle obligations of consolidated variable interest entity), less reserves Other receivables, less reserves Card Member loans (includes gross loans available to settle obligations of consolidated variable interest entity), less reserves Other loans, less reserves Financing Receivable, after Allowance for Credit Loss Investment securities Premises and equipment, less accumulated depreciation and amortization Property, Plant and Equipment, Net Other assets (includes restricted cash of consolidated variable interest entities) Other Assets Total assets Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity Liabilities and Equity [Abstract] Liabilities Customer deposits Deposits Travelers Cheques and other prepaid products Travelers Cheques Outstanding Carrying amount as of the balance sheet date of unencashed travelers cheques issued by the Company, as its liability to holders of the cheques. Accounts payable Accounts Payable Short-term borrowings Short-term Debt Long-term debt (includes debt issued by consolidated variable interest entities) Other liabilities Other Liabilities Total liabilities Liabilities Contingencies (Note 7) Commitments and Contingencies Preferred shares Preferred Stock, Value, Issued Common shares Common Stock, Value, Issued Additional paid-in capital Additional Paid in Capital Retained earnings Retained Earnings (Accumulated Deficit) Net unrealized debt securities gains (losses), net of tax AOCI, Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Adjustment, after Tax Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of tax Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Foreign Currency Translation Adjustment, Net of Tax Net unrealized pension and other postretirement benefits, net of tax Accumulated Other Comprehensive (Income) Loss, Defined Benefit Plan, after Tax Total accumulated other comprehensive loss Total shareholders' equity Total liabilities and shareholders' equity Liabilities and Equity Deposits By Type Deposits, by Type [Abstract] U.S. retail deposits: Deposits, Domestic [Abstract] Savings accounts - Direct Interest-bearing Domestic Deposit, Savings Certificates of deposit - Direct Interest-bearing Domestic Deposit, Certificates of Deposits Certificates of deposit - Third party Third party certificates of deposit Represents third party certificate of deposit accounts offered by the Company's Banks. Sweep accounts - Third party Third party sweep accounts Represents third party sweep accounts offered by the Company's Banks. Other retail deposits: Deposits, Foreign Noninterest-bearing and Interest-bearing Combined, Alternative [Abstract] U.S. non-interest bearing deposits, Other Noninterest-bearing Domestic Deposit, Other Non-US Deposits, Other Deposits, Foreign Card Member credit balances - U.S. and non-U.S. Contract with Customer, Liability, Current Total customer deposits Other Liabilities [Member] Other Liabilities [Member] Hedging Relationship [Axis] Hedging Relationship [Axis] Hedging Relationship [Domain] Hedging Relationship [Domain] Fair Value Hedging [Member] Net Investment Hedging [Member] Interest Rate Contract [Member] Interest Rate Contract [Member] Foreign Exchange Contract [Member] Foreign Exchange Contract [Member] Hedging Designation [Axis] Hedging Designation [Axis] Hedging Designation [Domain] Hedging Designation [Domain] Designated as Hedging Instrument [Member] Designated as Hedging Instrument [Member] Not Designated as Hedging Instrument [Member] Not Designated as Hedging Instrument [Member] Derivatives, Fair Value [Line Items] Derivatives, Fair Value [Line Items] Total fair value of derivative assets Derivative Asset, Fair Value, Gross Asset Including Not Subject to Master Netting Arrangement Total fair value of derivative liabilities Derivative Liability, Fair Value, Gross Liability Including Not Subject to Master Netting Arrangement Derivative asset and liability netting Derivative Asset And Liability Netting Represents the netting of derivative assets and liabilities under master netting agreements. Total derivatives assets, net Derivative Asset Total derivative liabilities, net Derivative Liability Cash collateral netting, Liabilities Derivative Liability, Collateral, Right to Reclaim Cash, Offset Cash collateral netting, Assets Derivative Asset, Collateral, Obligation to Return Cash, Offset Reserve for Losses Allowance for Credit Losses [Text Block] Schedule of derivative instruments in statement of financial position, fair value Schedule of Derivative Instruments in Statement of Financial Position, Fair Value [Table Text Block] Effect of fair value hedges on results of operations Effect Of Fair Value Hedges On Results Of Operations [Text Block] Represents table summarizing the impact of fair value hedges on the Consolidated Statements of Income for the period. Basis of Presentation Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Text Block] Income Tax Examination [Table] Income Tax Examination [Table] Open Tax Years [Axis] Open Tax Years [Axis] Open Tax Years [Domain] Open Tax Years [Domain] Earliest Year [Member] Earliest Year [Member] Latest Year [Member] Latest Year [Member] Income Tax Authority [Axis] Income Tax Authority [Axis] Income Tax Authority [Domain] Income Tax Authority [Domain] Internal Revenue Service (IRS) [Member] Internal Revenue Service (IRS) [Member] Income Tax Examination [Line Items] Income Tax Examination [Line Items] Actual tax rates Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Percent Tax Audit Settlement Years Tax Audit Settlement Years Tax years for which U.S. federal income tax audits were settled Open tax years by major tax jurisdiction Open Tax Year Unrecognized tax benefits change as a result of potential resolutions of prior years' tax Significant Change in Unrecognized Tax Benefits is Reasonably Possible, Amount of Unrecorded Benefit Unrecognized tax benefits that, if recognized, could impact effective tax rate. Significant Change In Unrecognized Tax Benefits Possible Impact Represents amount that if recognized would impact the Company's results of operations of its effective tax rate. Credit Balances [Axis] Credit Balances [Axis] Cardmember credit balances Card Member Credit Balances [Domain] Card Member Credit Balances [Domain] Cardmember credit balances Card Member Credit Balances [Member] Card Member Credit Balances [Member] Cardmember credit balances Deposits, by Component, Alternative [Abstract] Deposits, by Component, Alternative [Abstract] U.S.: Interest-bearing Interest-bearing Deposit Liabilities, Domestic Non-interest-bearing Noninterest-bearing Deposit Liabilities, Domestic Non-U.S.: Deposits, Foreign [Abstract] Interest-bearing Interest-bearing Deposit Liabilities, Foreign Non-interest-bearing Noninterest-bearing Deposit Liabilities, Foreign Occupancy and equipment Occupancy, Net Professional services Professional Fees Other Other Net Expenses Represents other, net expenses from miscellaneous items within other revenues not previously classified. Total other, net Other Noninterest Expense Schedule Of Revenue Sources [Table] Schedule Of Revenue Sources [Table] Product Or Services [Axis] Product Or Services [Axis] Products Or Services [Domain] Products Or Services [Domain] Other Fees and Commissions Financial Service, Other [Member] Non Interest Income [Line Items] Non Interest Income [Line Items] Delinquency fees Delinquency Fees Represents amounts to cardmembers for failure to pay the outstanding (or minimum balance) on their cards by the due date. Foreign currency conversion fee revenue Foreign Currency Gain Loss Primary financial statement caption in which reported facts about foreign currency gain (loss) have been included. Loyalty Partner-related fees Loyalty Partner-related fees Represents fees generated by the Loyalty Partner business. Travel commissions and fees Travel Commissions And Fees Commissions and fees earned by charging clients transaction or management fees for selling and arranging travel and travel management services. Client transaction fee revenue is recognized at the time the client books the travel arrangements. Travel management services revenue is recognized over the contractual term of the agreement. The Company's travel suppliers (for example, airlines, hotels, car rental companies) pay commissions and fees on tickets issued, sales and other services based on contractual agreements. Commissions and fees from travel suppliers are generally recognized at the time a ticket is purchased or over the term of the contract. Commissions and fees that are based on actual usage that is unknown at time of purchase (for example, hotel and car rentals), are recognized when cash is received. Service fees Service Fees Fee for services rendered usually based on a percentage of an amount received or collected or agreed to be paid for professional services. Revenues and fees Revenues and Fees Time Deposits [Table] Time Deposits [Table] Time Deposits $250,000 Or More [Line Items] Time Deposits [Abstract] Time Deposits, $250,000 or More Time Deposits, at or Above FDIC Insurance Limit Loans and Accounts Receivable Financing Receivables [Text Block] Accounts Receivable and Loans Textuals [Abstract] Card member loans Loans segment information Loans and Leases Receivable Disclosure [Abstract] Less: Reserve for losses Card Member loans, net Other loans, net Schedule of Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Table] Schedule of Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Table] Antidilutive Securities [Axis] Antidilutive Securities [Axis] Antidilutive Securities, Name [Domain] Antidilutive Securities, Name [Domain] Stock options [Member] Equity Option [Member] Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Line Items] Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share [Line Items] Earnings per share reconciliation [Abstract] Earnings Per Share Reconciliation [Abstract] Numerator: Net Income Attributable To Common Shareholders [Abstract] Net Income Attributable To Common Shareholders. Basic and diluted: Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Parent [Abstract] Preferred dividends Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Stockholders, Basic Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Stockholders, Basic Net Income Attributable to Common Shareholders Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Stockholders, Diluted Denominator: Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Basic And Diluted [Abstract] Basic (in shares) Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Basic Add: Weighted-average stock options (in shares) Incremental Common Shares Attributable to Dilutive Effect of Call Options and Warrants Diluted (in shares) Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted Basic EPS (in dollars per share) Earnings Per Share, Basic Diluted EPS (in dollars per share) Earnings Per Share, Diluted Antidilutive securities excluded from computation of earnings per share, (in shares) Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share, Amount Earnings Per Common Share (EPS) Earnings Per Share [Text Block] Derivative Instruments, Gain (Loss) [Table] Derivative Instruments, Gain (Loss) [Table] Interest Expense [Member] Interest Expense [Member] Interest Rate Contracts [Member] Derivative Instruments, Gain (Loss) [Line Items] Derivative Instruments, Gain (Loss) [Line Items] Fixed-rate long-term debt Change in Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Hedged Item in Fair Value Hedge Derivatives designated as hedging instruments Change in Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Fair Value Hedging Instruments Total Gain (Loss) on Fair Value Hedges Recognized in Earnings Schedule of Impaired Financing Receivable [Table] Schedule of Impaired Financing Receivable [Table] Segment [Axis] Financing Receivable, Impaired [Line Items] Financing Receivable, Impaired [Line Items] Average balance of impaired loans Impaired Financing Receivable, Average Recorded Investment Interest income recognized Impaired Financing Receivable, Interest Income, Accrual Method Changes in the Card Member loans reserve for losses [Table] Changes in the Card Member loans reserve for losses [Table] Net write offs [Axis] Net write offs [Axis] Net Write Offs [Domain] Net Write Offs [Domain] Net Write Offs [Domain] Net Write Offs [Member] Net Write Offs [Member] Provisions for loans and lease losses deductions net write offs principal Provisions for loans and lease losses deductions net write offs principal Provisions for loans and lease losses deductions net write offs interest and fees Provisions for loans and lease losses deductions net write offs interest and fees Changes in the Card Member loans reserve for losses [Line Items] Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses [Roll Forward] Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses Line items Balance, January 1 Provisions Provision for Loan and Lease Losses Net write-offs Principal, interest and fees Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses Write-offs, Net Other Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses, Adjustments, Other Ending Balance Revenues Revenues [Abstract] Discount Revenue Credit Card, Merchant Discount [Member] Net Card Fees Credit Card [Member] Non-interest revenues Other Noninterest Income, Other Operating Income Total non-interest revenues Interest income Interest and Dividend Income, Operating [Abstract] Interest on loans Interest and Fee Income, Loans and Leases Interest and dividends on investment securities Interest and Dividend Income, Securities, Operating Deposits with banks and other Interest Income, Deposits with Financial Institutions Total interest income Interest expense Interest Expense [Abstract] Deposits Interest Expense, Deposits Long-term debt and other Interest Expense, Long-term Debt Total interest expense Net interest income Interest Income (Expense), Net Total revenues net of interest expense Provisions for losses Provision for Loan, Lease, and Other Losses [Abstract] Charge card Card Member loans provisions Other Provision for Other Losses Total provisions for losses Total revenues net of interest expense after provisions for losses Total Revenues Net of Interest Expense After Provisions for Losses Revenues from discount revenue, net card fees, travel commissions and fees, other commissions and fees, securitization, other related income, and net interest income offset by provisions for losses during the period. Expenses Noninterest Expense [Abstract] Marketing and business development Marketing and Advertising Expense Card Member rewards Card Member Rewards Represents the costs of rewards programs (including Membership Rewards). Card Member services Card Member Services Represents protection plans and complimentary services provided to Card Members. Salaries and employee benefits Labor and Related Expense Other, net Total expenses Noninterest Expense Pretax income Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations before Equity Method Investments, Income Taxes, Noncontrolling Interest Income tax provision Income Tax Expense (Benefit) Net income Basic (in dollars per share) Diluted (in dollars per share) Average common shares outstanding for earnings per common share: Diluted (in shares) Basis of Presentation Basis of Accounting, Policy [Policy Text Block] Recently Adopted Accounting Standards New Accounting Pronouncements, Policy [Policy Text Block] Leases Lessee, Leases [Policy Text Block] Investments Investment, Policy [Policy Text Block] Asset Securitizations Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets, Policy [Policy Text Block] Contingencies Commitments and Contingencies, Policy [Policy Text Block] Derivatives Derivatives, Policy [Policy Text Block] Fair Values Fair Value of Financial Instruments, Policy [Policy Text Block] Guarantees Guarantees, Indemnifications and Warranties Policies [Policy Text Block] Contingencies Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Text Block] Guarantees [Abstract] Guarantees Guarantees [Text Block] Maximum potential amount of undiscounted future payments Guarantor Obligations, Maximum Exposure, Undiscounted Amount of related liability Guarantor Obligations, Current Carrying Value Investment securities: Investments [Abstract] Equity securities Debt securities Available-For-Sale Securities, Debt Securities And Other For an unclassified balance sheet, the total of debt and other securities categorized neither as held-to-maturity nor trading. Derivative assets Total Assets Assets, Fair Value Disclosure Derivative liabilities Total Liabilities Financial and Nonfinancial Liabilities, Fair Value Disclosure