American Express's quarterly profit beat analysts' average estimate as a tighter control on expenses helped make up for slower growth in consumer spending in its key U.S. market.
The world's biggest credit card issuer said an unusually severe winter caused billed business in the United States to rise 6 percent in the first quarter, lower than the 9 percent growth in the preceding quarter.
However, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Campbell said on a post-earnings conference call that the business had grown through the second half of the quarter as the weather improved.
U.S. retail sales increased 1.1 percent in March—the biggest gain since September 2012—in a sign that the economy is bouncing back after the severe winter.
"While consumers remain cautious about taking on additional debt, we continued to see a modest increase in card member loan balances" CEO Kenneth Chenault said in a statement.