View Full Version : Why don't some stores take American Express?
04-09-2000, 07:07 PM
Why don't some stores take American Express?
I used to take AE cards at my store and the fees were virtually identical. The only difference seemed to be using a different code on the swiper entry.
Some people love AE because it bills to their employer, saving expense vouchers.
Some like it bacause they don't charge fees for the first month after a sale.
Maybe their Visa is at it's limit (AE cards have no fixed limit).
Some like it for American Airline miles,
some for better help overseas, and some just
because it's the top card in their purse today.
But it just doesn't matter why they picked it.
Why take a chance the deal will fold?
Why would you turn away any sale?
04-09-2000, 07:25 PM
Um, maybe its because American Express charges merchants more to process the transactions.
04-09-2000, 08:16 PM
They have to make up for the fact that they don't charge interest.
04-09-2000, 11:56 PM
No. The fees are virtually identical. They don't charge as much interest because they have a higher annual card fee. Doesn't affect the merchant, though.
Mentor and Liar
04-10-2000, 01:04 AM
American Express charges a 4.5% merchant fee, and they are the only vendor. Visa/Mastercard has about a jillion processing vendors, because of this, I can negotiate the fee to less than 2%. Amex tries to justify their rate by offering a bunch of lame "value adding programs." none of which are worth the forty or so thousand dollar difference that I pay every year. If not for the companies whose only corporate card is American Express, I'd drop them in a heartbeat.
04-10-2000, 04:08 AM
At the bookstore I hung out & helped at, we considered Amex. They cost more and they could not process thru our machine. Discover cost about the same as visa, but again, we would have had to buy another machine.
04-10-2000, 10:52 AM
To clarify, the card companies charge the members an annual fee (sometimes $0) and an interest rate for revolving debt (or don't allow revolving debt in the case of Amex classic).
However, if you got a $0 annual fee credit card and never carried a balance, the credit card company would lose money. So, they charge merchants for the priviledge of providing customers the convenience of credit card usage. This is why some places e.g. gas stations charge more for credit sales than cash - it costs them money for you to use a credit card.
Bigger merchants may be able to negotiate better deals, or not care about the difference, but my folks run a small business and Amex is way more expensive for them to accept as Mentor and Liar explains above.
04-10-2000, 05:43 PM
Some stores don't take American Express because Visa paid them to stop taking it in order to feature them in a commercial.
Amex sued over it a few years ago.
"What we have here is failure to communicate." -- Strother Martin, anticipating the Internet.
04-10-2000, 08:58 PM
I do billing and AMEX is a bear if there is a dispute. I've had actual signatures of the cardholder on the card and registration card and AMEX still won't pay if the cardholder disputes it.
On the other hand if I wanted to BUY something I would use AMEX.
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