So, about this "wider acceptance" thing...

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AMEX justified the last round of deval by implying they are cutting merchant fees to gain better acceptance in Aus. Has there been any updates on this front?

Purely from personal experience, most of the shops I frequent, especially restaurants, are charging the same premium for AMEX over visa/mc and cash. Retailers are no better, some cashiers are downright hostile when you pull out an AMEX to the point I just stick to Visa for my local convenience stores even i know they take AMEX.

While these are circumstantial evidences at best and I have no idea what's happening behind the scene but it seems like either AMEX is really slow in cutting those merchant fees or not cutting them for the smaller shops.
 

Colin 2905

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Whilst my local chemist now accepts Amex, at two restaurants that we frequent, they no longer do. One step forward, two steps backwards.
 
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Purely from personal experience, most of the shops I frequent, especially restaurants, are charging the same same premium for AMEX over visa/mc and cash. Retailers are no better, some cashiers are downright hostile when you pull out an AMEX to the point I ju
I never had any retailer that was downright hostile based on the credit card I used, you should shop elsewhere if this the attitude you get from shop assistants

Of course, and I do take my business elsewhere unless the shop is really conveniently located, in which case, i just switch to Visa. This is not the conundrum.

My issue is AMEX justified their deval by cutting merchant fees, potentially to Visa/MC levels, and thereby making shops more welcoming for AMEX users. But this doesn't seem to be happening or happening at a noticeable pace?
 

Tallfont

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Purely from personal experience, most of the shops I frequent, especially restaurants, are charging the same premium for AMEX over visa/mc and cash. Retailers are no better, some cashiers are downright hostile when you pull out an AMEX to the point I just stick to Visa for my local convenience stores even i know they take AMEX.

I tend to agree. I have noticed no difference at all lately.

I do have a range of places where I user the AMEX all the time and have had no problems. Some have a surcharge, some don't. And then you get the oddities like Aealia duty free at Cairns Intl where AMEX has no surcharge but Visa etc do!

If any shop assistant were to be in any way hostile to me for using an AMEX I would politely (as possible) tell them to place the goods I were buying back in a dark place and walk out. I would probably then call AMEX about it.
 

samh004

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Only big change recently was IKEA for me, and I shop there a lot. I'm still requesting Aldi every chance I get through surveys, because I do find their prices good, and they already surcharge Visa/MC so I imagine it would be no different to also surcharge AMEX.
I never had any retailer that was downright hostile based on the credit card I used, you should shop elsewhere if this the attitude you get from shop assistants
Agree. Vote with your feet.

There is a cafe near here that still has a shop small sticker on their door and appears on the shop small map, but when you try to pay with AMEX they say they don't accept it. I'm not sure if they have a second terminal and they're just doing a bait and switch or what the actual issue is, but that's pretty frustrating. Saying that though, as I know they'll make me pay on Visa/MC I don't give them custom.
 

coriander

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My Amex merchant fee has been 1.51% for the past 5+ years. When these changes were announced last year, I received a letter from Amex saying - "good news, we're getting competitive etc etc and as a result we are reducing your merchant fee to to 1.50%."
Interestingly, my bank charges 1.73% for premium (ie black) Mastercards and 1.69% for premium Visa cards.
 

DC3

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.. There is a cafe near here that still has a shop small sticker on their door and appears on the shop small map, but when you try to pay with AMEX they say they don't accept it ...
I've had that said in the past. I tapped anyway, and it went through. Surprise. :p
 

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I've been lucky at most places, At some places, such as JB HiFi, the staff advise they have a surcharge for Amex, or as is the case with other places, there's a printed sign telling customers the surcharge.

What I'm finding more though, is in spite of Amex declaring they've extended their reach, there are still a lot of places that don't accept Amex, and the reason I'm given the most: they charge us too much. No idea if that's the truth, but 99% of the time, that's what the given reason is.

Definitely a first world problem, so I don't complain, instead, I smile and say "No sweat; I'll use the Visa instead." I still get points and they get a sale - happy, relieved staff (I didn't get mad) and happy me. :D
 

DC3

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... smile and say "No sweat; I'll use the Visa instead." I still get points and they get a sale - happy, relieved staff (I didn't get mad) and happy me. :D
Yes, but they know that we will probably use the Visa/MC, instead, so they still get their sale.

Edit: The sales staff are most likely just repeating what their boss has told them to tell the customers i.e., "tell them that we don't take AMEX")
 
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samh004

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Interestingly, my bank charges 1.73% for premium (ie black) Mastercards and 1.69% for premium Visa cards.
This is something I always reflect on when somewhere doesn't take AMEX and my only other card is a premium V/MC. The staff may not know it, but the surcharge is I hope higher than whatever AMEX was willing to give them. Serves them right.
I've had that said in the past. I tapped anyway, and it went through. Surprise. :p
Similar in some cases, but I know of a few places where they have separate terminals that take AMEX compared to V/MC.

I don't mind the JB Hifi model where the terminal automatically adds the surcharge to whatever purchase goes through, but do have fun at United service stations where they have to manually add the surcharge and tend to quickly swipe my watch or phone before they notice.
 

Archphoto

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>>>

Edit: The sales staff are most likely just repeating what their boss has told them to tell the customers i.e., "tell them that we don't take AMEX")

Not necessarily - I've often tapped my Amex, the machine has had a hissy fit, and they then apologise that they don't actually accept Amex.

I agree with cqtiger - it is annoying when the machine shows the logo, but they don't accept. But I'd guess it's inbuilt into the machine's software by default - the business decides to accept or not and can't change the display.

Regardless, it is a 1st world problem - my life is no worse because I can't use my Amex card. Plenty around the world can't even get clean water, so a piece of plastic and its inability to earn me some FF points pales significantly by comparison. :)
 

DC3

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... so I don't complain, instead, I smile and say "No sweat; I'll use the Visa instead." I still get points and they get a sale - happy, relieved staff (I didn't get mad) and happy me. :D

.... I've often tapped my Amex, the machine has had a hissy fit, and they then apologise that they don't actually accept Amex.

I agree with cqtiger - it is annoying when the machine shows the logo, but they don't accept ....

Yes, it’s the owner (merchant) who should be held accountable and not the staff. I make a point of never blaming the staff, who are only trying to do/keep their job and are not to blame for any game played by some owners. Some deceptive practices with displaying the Shop Small sign and then saying that they don’t accept AMEX.

So, I will not laugh it off and pay with Visa/MC. It’s the merchant who loses the sale and won’t be rewarded for such a practice.

I have reported some of those businesses to AMEX but the feedback has only ever been along the lines that are discussing the benefits of AMEX with the merchant.

Edited: Content
 
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mrtupperware

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I've been lucky at most places, At some places, such as JB HiFi, the staff advise they have a surcharge for Amex, or as is the case with other places, there's a printed sign telling customers the surcharge.

What I'm finding more though, is in spite of Amex declaring they've extended their reach, there are still a lot of places that don't accept Amex, and the reason I'm given the most: they charge us too much. No idea if that's the truth, but 99% of the time, that's what the given reason is.

Definitely a first world problem, so I don't complain, instead, I smile and say "No sweat; I'll use the Visa instead." I still get points and they get a sale - happy, relieved staff (I didn't get mad) and happy me. :D

I stopped shopping at JB HiFi for this reason. Was going to buy a $3,000 laptop but once they added the surcharge I figured I am better off just buying it direct from Apple. Since then I always found retailers that don't charge extra for Amex and now I rarely pay the surcharge
 

Archphoto

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I stopped shopping at JB HiFi for this reason. Was going to buy a $3,000 laptop but once they added the surcharge I figured I am better off just buying it direct from Apple. Since then I always found retailers that don't charge extra for Amex and now I rarely pay the surcharge

I buy through Apple too - my CX membership garners me extra points when purchasing through their online mall and when I use Amex I get more points, so a nice little earner for me. :)
 
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Regardless, it is a 1st world problem - my life is no worse because I can't use my Amex card. Plenty around the world can't even get clean water, so a piece of plastic and its inability to earn me some FF points pales significantly by comparison. :)

Its not a 1st world problem guys, in fact its not a problem at all. If I were to use a diners card, I'd get even less acceptance. All this is well and good - the problem i have - is that AMEX did promise wider acceptance, albeit on pretty vague terms, but it was still a promise.

My question is that, did they cut merchant fees? and if they did, why aren't there more store accepting amex without extra surcharges? and if they didn't, well, why have they not done it yet?


Greater Amex card acceptance, fewer points
Amex says that the changes are a result of the lower merchant fees it is collecting nowadays on credit card payments. Over the past couple of years, Amex has been lowering the fees it charges to many businesses for accepting Amex card payments. This has had the effect of increasing the acceptance of American Express card payments. But this has also squeezed Amex’s margins to the point where a devaluation of the rewards program is necessary.
 

Archphoto

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Its not a 1st world problem guys, in fact its not a problem at all. If I were to use a diners card, I'd get even less acceptance. All this is well and good - the problem i have - is that AMEX did promise wider acceptance, albeit on pretty vague terms, but it was still a promise.

My question is that, did they cut merchant fees? and if they did, why aren't there more store accepting amex without extra surcharges? and if they didn't, well, why have they not done it yet?


I hear you downloadingdata - you echo my thoughts in your recent post, regarding the cut in MFs and wider acceptance.👍

I was under the impression that they did cut fees, and if that is the case, why are merchants still bleating about the "high fees" and passing them onto Amex users, while other CC users fees are being absorbed? Or are they still higher than other CC fees, but lower than previously?

Admittedly, I have seen some additions of stores that previously didn't accept Amex with the bonus of *not* charging an excess to use the card, but I wouldn't say it has been an amazing increase (although maybe I don't shop at the right stores??)

So, are merchants too lazy to update? Are they unaware that the fees have been reduced? Are they aware and can't be bothered?

So many questions, so few answers - maybe a RC will be revealing all at some stage in the future, until then I guess we Amex lovers have to accept that our little cards aren't as loved by businesses as Amex wants us to believe . . . 🤣🤣
 

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