Giant, Martin's food stores now take American Express

American Express has announced that its charge cards and credit cards will now be accepted when consumers make purchases at Giant Food Stores and Martin's Food Markets, the credit card company said in a press release. The new payment method went into effect on April 22.

Giant and Martin's grocery stores are located in the Mid-Atlantic region, with 183 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, according to public and community relations manager Christopher Brand. Giant Carlisle division president Rick Herring said in the press release that his company recognizes that "in these busy times, choice is high on the shopping lists of our customers, and we now offer another payment option for our customers when they visit our stores." American Express joins MasterCard, Visa and Discover as credit card options for the grocery stores' customers.

In concert with this announcement, American Express is making a $50,000 donation to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, which have long been the grocery store company's charity of choice. The parent firm of Giant and Martin's was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Carlisle, Pa.

American Express is the largest U.S. credit card issuer by purchase volume. The company offers revolving credit card accounts as well as their traditional charge cards that carry no balance and require being paid in full each month. The company just reported a first quarter net income of $13 billion which was an increase of 7 percent from a year ago. The company's U.S. credit card division announced a first-quarter net income of $752 million, which represents a 35 percent gain from a year ago.