got QF Amex but no one accepts it...

Discussion in 'American Express Rewards' started by whoistheg, Dec 6, 2006.

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  1. whoistheg

    whoistheg Intern

    Oct 30, 2006
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    ok

    got my brand spanking new Qantas Amex with 20K points offer and im keen
    to load it up but none of my bills supports AMEX card !!!

    Local Rates.. $500 ish .. nope no amex
    Gas .. $200 ish.. nope no amex
    Car Rego.. $500ish .. nope no amex..
    Dentist... $400ish .. nope no amex..
    Laptop .. $3000ish.. nope but after arguing with the person they
    said OK but slugged me 3% fee

    about the only place i can use it is coles/safeway/petrol..

    looks like most major bill companies dont like it.

    also i noticed a lot of Billers also charge you the 3% fee..

    very annoying
     

  2. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Comparatively though where do you spend the majority of money?

    Coles/Safeway - $150/wk? That would be $7500pa
    Fuel - $30/wk - $1500pa

    I am surprised about rego. I paid for my rego (NSW) and green slip (NRMA) online. I also pay foxtel, phones (Optus), Internet (optus), David Jones (toss up between store card with 0% interest free and Amex). the omnly places I cant use it that I would want are utilities.

    I guess before I got my amex I tried to work out where I would spend it. Personally I only feel the amex is worth it if you are spending quite a sum pa on it. Across two cards (corporate and personal) I am probably going to spend maybe 100K - but that is at a cost of about $350$ish (personal gold card+2x rewards programs). I think that is 0.35c/point which I think is ok?

    However if it was just personal it would be about 0.54c/point.

    I havent factored into the cost of the additional card for mrssimongr as that is benefit in terms being confident when I am away that she can pay for anything that comes up (car repairs flights to collect bodies etc...)
     
  3. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    G'day whoistheg, welcome to AFF.

    With CC and rewards you do what you can. I have a rewards maximizer and pay every bill I possibly can with it to get the 1.5 MR points per $; however quite a few places simply don't accept Amex so then I use a Visa giving 1 QF point per $.

    Swings and roundabouts; I used to pay Medibank on Visa as they did not accept Amex; now they do and that's where the payment is now done. Conversely I switch from an energy provider that took Amex to one that gives me 5K QFF points per year; this new one does not take Amex so it's on the Visa; contract expires next year; I may change again.. lets see what's offered.

    Seriously, if you wish to maximize points, a 1.5 Amex with a 1:1 Visa is, IMO, a reasonable way to go (and NO other cards, keep it at those two). Also, pay them both off every month.
     
  4. wiz

    wiz Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    Perth
    I'd say Amex has moved ahead in leaps and bounds in getting wider acceptance. I for one only use my Amex cards where there is absolutely no surcharge (and I do this as a 1st preference), ie; groceries, shopping, movies, eating out etc, and some bills, where it's accepted.

    And you don't need to worry about this too much to get your 20k points anyway. Pop into Coles and buy that Mars bar on special for 99 cents, and get your 12,500 bonus. Then keep it handy for your next Qantas purchase for the further 7,500 + 2 QP invitations.

    I don't think I know of anyone who uses their Amex card exclusively. You would think having a Visa or MC supplement would go without saying (for those other purchases)...
     
  5. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
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    In common with many people on this board, I carry multiple cards. Using Amex is my first choice, but I do also have a Visa (and a Mastercard) for thos times when it is not accepted. I find close to three quarters of my transactions are on Amex.

    As has already been mentioned, it is much more widely accpeted than it was just a few years ago. And it is streets ahead of Diners :)
     
  6. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Well you can now say that you have heard of someone that uses Amex exclusively. Car insurance, rego, flights, accommodation, hire car, petrol, mobile phone, land line, cable tv, internet, restaurants, bottle shops, grocery shopping, department stores, medibank, physiotherapy, charities etc.

    Don't accept Amex? Surcharge? Most times could not be bothered doing business with you and sometimes here is cash for your troubles. Not my responsibility to bank it, not my responsibility if you are held up!
     
  7. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

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    I wish government agencies this side of the country would accept Amex, but alas they tend not to. Can't pay rego by Amex, can't pay powerbill by Amex, can't pay water by Amex etc etc etc
     
  8. wiz

    wiz Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    Well JohnK you must be one of a kind. I mean that in a nice way of course! :D

    I also concur with oz_mark.
     
  9. Mish

    Mish Junior Member

    May 24, 2006
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    If it's a smaller store try working through the logic with them.

    "we charge 3% for Amex"

    Me: "Why is that"

    Them : "Well they charge that"

    Me: Ok.. what do you get charged for Visa?? How about I pay you the difference?

    yada yada yada.. charge is taken down to the difference?!
     

  10. You know, I never thought of trying that, but I certainly have enough front to give it a go next-time I am in the same position.

    I agree that it is necessary to carry an alternative to Amex, although I am always sure to tell merchants who don't accept it that Amex is my preferred card. I also use the facility on the Amex website where they invite cardholders to nominate businesses that don't accept the card, presumably so Amex can launch a marketing campaign at them. I am not, however, convinced that it is successful in many cases.

    Perhaps there are some proprietors of small/medium-sized businesses who can comment on how much it costs them to handle cash in their business? I know that when The Spending Machine worked for a large international retailer, handling cash cost a small fortune. They were more than happy for their customers to pull out ANY plastic, rather than hand over bills that needed armed escort to the bank, etc.
     
  11. Cyberdog100

    Cyberdog100 Intern

    Dec 29, 2006
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    I got the Earth card (Amex and MC combo) pretty much as soon as it came out and was actually surprised that Amex was quite widely accepted. However i was shocked that McDonald's doesn't accept it!! I mean they're hardly a small corner shop, but they are extremely tight and I guess don't want to pay the fees, nonetheless i was really amazed such a large corporation wouldn't make it as easy as possible for customers to pay.

    I used to Amex facility also to report the non acceptance, maybe McD will move out of the stoneage one day!

    However i'm pleasantly surprised that almost all restaurants i've been to gladly take Amex and dont slap on a surcharge.
     
  12. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    Some even will give a discount when using AMEX: American Express Selects
     
  13. pauly7

    pauly7 Established Member

    Dec 8, 2004
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    I have submitted a couple of the 'dob in a business that doesn't have amex' and was actually successful in getting our local restaurant hooked up!

    Apparantly Amex are much more aggressive and are doing deals to get wider acceptance.

    I also complained about JB Hi-Fi charging a surcharge and got a reply back that they are in 'talks' - so if anyone else wants to fill out a form here is a link - target the utilities!

    Customer Service - American Express Australia
     
  14. albatross710

    albatross710 Established Member

    May 15, 2004
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    From a business operators view this is how I see the costs:

    Amex : 3% Most of my clients are corporate purcashers whom want the points. To go through the issue of adding the extra % each transaction means we have to issue them another invoice for the charge as well as process that in our system. These guys buy from us each month so we factor it into our "marketing mix" that we are flexible, don't charge extra and they are more likely to buy from us.

    Visa/Mcard : 0.8% considerably less

    EFT : 20c per transaction when it comes directly from their account.

    Bpay : on Visa/Mcard 1%

    Cash is a pain. Requries us to make a special trip to the bank as most of our payments are received electronically these days. Also, cash has to be handed to the teller instead of posted into a "quick Deposit" box which we can do with checks. I'd be happy to skip the cash purchases but I think I recall soemthing about it being legal tender in Australia.

    SO Amex is the most expensive to accept but my systems are too hard to change to easily add the surcharge and we get a lot of pushback when we try and add it...better to put our energies elsewhere.
     
  15. kyle

    kyle Active Member

    Mar 8, 2006
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    I believe the term 'legal tender' refers to the fact that the Reserve Bank (or the govt) must accept it on demand.
     
  16. serfty

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    If payment terms were not defined upon sale, so must the seller in that circumstance (within defined limits).

    For a little more info on this, see here: RBA: Legal Tender
     
  17. kyle

    kyle Active Member

    Mar 8, 2006
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    So does my reply re legal tender still stand? The govt wouldn't refuse what they issued, right?

    Going back to the issue of cash handling? For all that trouble, it would seem to suggest that it would cost more than the 3% that Amex charges.

    So maybe we should all use notes and coins at shops that puts a surcharge on credit card payments (unless the surcharge is less than the benefit gained from interest free days + reward points)?
     
  18. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I should try reporting businesses that do not accept Amex through the website rather than the customer service reps over the phone.

    I have mentioned that Zuji, McDonalds and KFC do not accept Amex over the phone to CSRs on a number of occassions and their response has been that it is their right to accept whatever form of payment they wish. Brilliant answer Einstein!
     
  19. albatross710

    albatross710 Established Member

    May 15, 2004
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    If people started moving back to cash it would certainly create a headache for us as we see so little cash. When everything is electronic it can be audited and doesn't need daily banking/reconciliation. Not to say we don't audit and reconcile but cash is sooo messy.

    We don't apply a surcharge because that is also messy for us so I guess you could say that everyone is paying it as we factor it into our pricing equations.

    But lets face it, why do any of us deal with Amex? They are expensive, they are slow to respond, their call centre is pretty poor. Are they 3 times better than Visa/Mcard? It is all just about the points!
     
  20. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

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    I have oft wondered why many business think that handling cash is free. Perhaps it is just less visible. I do remember one of the retailers in Perth once calculated the cost of handling cash and it was pretty close to the the charges that Visa and MC charged.
     
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