Acceptance of the other 2 credit cards Discover and AmEx

I am reluctant to use Discover or Amex cards because I assume that there are still places that won’t accept them, and I don’t want to carry around a backup card just in case. Also I like to charge everything, yes I will charge a cup of coffee if I can (cash back bonuses and no ATM fees for carrying cash to pay), so having a CC that is accepted everywhere is importaint to me.

For those who used these other 2 cards, I would like to know about your experence about their acceptance, have you ever been not been able to use them while a MC or Visa would work? Do you carry backup cards (MC/V)? Or by now does everyone who accepts a CC accpet all 4?

90% of businesses I encounter accept Discover now. About the same as AmEx. Frankly, I have been using Discover for weekly business travel for about 8 months now & have had less problem with Discover than I have historically had with AmEx. AmEx has stranded me more than a couple times with their “you have no pre-set spending limit, but we think you are using more than what we think is normal for you so we won’t authorize the charge at that hotel you are trying to check into at midnight” feature.

I would stick with Visa / MasterCard as a first choice. Discover as a second choice. American Express somewhere down near Diner’s Club.

If you’re likely to travel abroad, then be aware that Visa is the most useful, followed by Mastercard. Amex is not accepted in many places, and I’ve never heard of Discover.

I know my vet won’t accept AmEx - he says the fees charged to him are too high for the relatively few people who want to use it.

This is what I was going to say too. Here in Europe (the parts I know anyway), Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere. Amex exists but has nowhere near the coverage, and Discover is virtually unknown.

I charge almost every thing on Discover. It is very rare for me to find a place that does not accept it. However, it does happen. Just today I ordered something off of the web and they only accepted visa/mc.

I have more than one card, and one is a Visa. I suppose it is a “backup” but that wasn’t the thinking when I got it. I got it because it came with my bank card.

Discover’s not used in Canada either, as far as I know. I just recognize the name from US t.v.

I have an AmEx card, and since Safeway (grocery store) finally started taking it I haven’t run into any medium-to-large business that doesn’t accept it. I’ve never had ASAKMOTSD’s limit issue, and have used it at hotels many times. There are still some online sites that won’t take it, and some smaller businesses don’t accept it because, like SnakesCatLady’s vet says, it costs them too much (my old vet wouldn’t take it, either, and neither would the local animal hospital). I use it all over the place, and especially online when I can: I find that AmEx has the best “no problem, we’ll fix it for you” policy when it comes to online purchase problems. I hate the annual fee, but I figure that it’s less than I’d pay in interest (hmm, might have to do the math on that sometime).

The only other major card I carry is MasterCard. I have two of them, actually: a gold card and my debit card. Both were issued by my credit union. I don’t use the gold card very often, but I’d say that I use the debit card and my AmEx card about equally – which one I use in a given situation depends on how much is in my checking account and what part of the AmEx billing cycle I’m in. :slight_smile:

I’ve never had a Discover card or a Visa card.

Similar story here. My wife and I live on our AmEx cards, both of which accrue miles into my Delta frequent flier account. AmEx has never stranded me, and I’ve used them for 20 years. I use my MasterCard about 5% of the time at most., although I used it a LOT more when in Britain and Australia.

I also have a Visa Debit/ATM card, which only gets used as a debit card when I’m in Oregon. (Oregon’s gas stations are undoubtedly the subject of other threads…)

Like Khadaji I charge almost everything on Discover (love that cash back) and have never had a problem. I have a cashback Visa also, used mostly for backup. There are a couple of small restaurants near us that don’t take Discover, but having to use the Visa is quite rare.

I have an AmEx card for work, used only for charging work expenses, usually hotel, car and restaurant, so I’m not a good judge of how often it is accepted. I do look at the window decals, and it seems Discover appears more often than AmEx. I don’t remember an issue with Discover the last couple of times I’ve been in Canada - maybe it is called something else there.

The other day I noticed that the huge “cards accepted” sticker in the highway includes Discover. It’s the only place in Spain where I’ve seen that symbol. I’ve seen it in some hotels in Latin America.

Amex is accepted in some hotel chains. Most places that take Diner’s Club take Amex, but neither is common. Many stores don’t take either; pretty much every store takes MC and Visa.

My regular ATM/debit card is a Visa and they also gave me a credit Visa without asking for it just for opening a regular account; if I want an MC from that bank I have to ask for it. The regular ATM/debit card from my second bank is a Maestro (mastercard debit), they offer both credit Visas and credit MCs.

I have to say other non-US Dopers are right, I never see the Discover card symbol. I had one, but cancelled it cause I couldn’t use it here.

In Australia, AMEX is pretty widely accepted, Visa and Mastercard are everywhere, Diners is some places (mostly for travel.)

So if you plan to travel, Visa/MC/Amex, I think, in that order.

G (Who used to be in charge of CC processing for a major travel company.)

Pretty accurate, however I have used Amex for a long time and can think of a few places both here and on the net that used to accept it but don’t any more. I haven’t been to New Zealand for years but last time I went Amex was far less popular there than here.

Yeah, Amex is pretty popular with travelers (as is Diners) in a company card sense, but lots of merchants have stopped taking it since they upped their fees. There was a bit of “well, we’ll just charge the customer” but Fair Trading (at least in NSW) was all over that, as was the ACCC, so it just got easier to drop it as an option.

Amex and Diners have a really nice company travel card option, which works directly with booking software like Galileo and gives you all sorts of flight info on your statement. So I used to process heaps of them, and didn’t really realise that it wasn’t too popular in the outside world until my husband got one.

Haven’t made it to NZ yet, so I can’t speak to that.

I have never once seen Discover here, though. Which is kind of a shame, as I like their programs and incentives. (And I just, because I’m thinking of an American thing, tried to type something that came out stuck between programmes and programs and ended up pograms, which is definately not right, because I think my brain melted, LOL!)


I use Amex (the one with no yearly fees), and I like it. There are only a couple of places that don’t accept it, but that’s why I have my Visa/debit card.

I used it all the time while I was in Brazil since my debit/credit card (if I used it) would be charged an extra 1-3% (for the bank), while I had no such problem with my Amex (once I told the Amex people I was in Brazil). Interestingly enough, almost every place I went in city (Salvador) accepted the card, even the local marketplace.

I also live on my AmEx cards (Membership Rewards turn into Home Depot cards quickly), and don’t often have to break out a VISA.

I’ve used my VISA five times in the last month - once at the vet’s office, once at a little burger joint, once for a conference fee, once for a mail-in Rx, and once for a cleaner’s I don’t normally patronize. None of those places took AmEx.

That’s compared to some 60-odd transactions that are listed for my AmEx cards.

I’ve liked AmEx; I’ve been a member for over 10 years, and have never had any problems with them. I’ve never run into the “covert” credit limit some people have - don’t have any idea why.

I had a Diner’s Club at one point (they have a pretty great rewards program too), but dropped it after a year or two. However, Diner’s Club is now essentially a “specialty” Mastercard (they’re owned by citibank) - they have the M/C logo, and are accepted anywhere that M/C is.