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About Cookies

Cookies were originally designed to help a Web site distinguish a user's browser as a previous visitor and thus save and remember any preferences that may have been set while the user was browsing the site. A cookie is a small string of text that a Web site can send to your browser. A cookie cannot retrieve any other data from your hard drive, pass on computer viruses, or capture your E-mail address. Currently, Web sites use cookies to enhance the user's visit; in general, cookies can securely store a user's ID and password, personalize home pages, identify which parts of a site have been visited or keep track of selections in a "shopping cart".

If you are just browsing americanexpress.com, a cookie identifies only your browser. If you become a registered user on an American Express Web site (with a designated user ID and password), we use cookies so that we can provide customized information that we believe will be of value to you based on preferences indicated, other information we have about you as an American Express customer, as well as information available from external sources such as the census bureau. It is possible to set your browser to inform you when a cookie is being placed -- this way, you have the opportunity to decide whether to accept the cookie.

If you are just browsing our site and are not a registered user, you do not have to accept a cookie and you may still continue utilizing the site. However, if you are visiting a site where you will be accessing your confidential account information (such as Checking Your Bill), you must accept that site's cookies as they are essential for site administration and security. By accepting a cookie, keep in mind that your choice to decline E-mail offers remains unaffected. Here is how to set your cookie preferences:

Netscape Navigator 4: Select Preferences from the Edit menu. From the Preferences menu, select Advanced, and several options for cookies will be listed in the lower right of the menu. Additionally, you may select Help for more details. For further information about the Netscape browser and use of cookies, visit Netscape's Web site.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4: Select Options from the View menu. Choose the Advanced menu and scroll to the section labeled "Cookies," where several options are listed. For further information about the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and use of cookies, visit Microsoft's Web site.

AOL:If you are using AOL v3.0 for Windows 95: Select Preferences from the Members menu. Click on the WWW icon and select Advanced. Modify your preference if you wish to be warned before accepting cookies.

If you are using the following AOL browsers, you will not be able to set cookie preferences since these browsers automatically accept cookies:
  • AOL v3.0 for Windows 3.0, using AOL's proprietary browser or AOL's version of Microsoft Internet Explorer v3.0;
  • AOL for the MAC, using AOL's version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.1.

All other earlier versions of AOL browsers do not support cookies, and therefore cannot authenticate you as a registered user on American Express Web sites that involve sending or receiving personal account information.
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