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Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?

babygirl1256
Valued Contributor

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?

Greetings designated_knitter ~ great information to know . . . Thanks for posting an update!!!

Starting FICO 8 Score in 06/2019: EQ-625, TU-649, EX-640
Current FICO 8 Score in 06/2021: EQ-796, TU-806, EX-812
Goal FICO 8 Score in 06/2022: EQ-825, TU-850, EX-850
Message 21 of 54
ChargedUp
Valued Contributor

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?

Here in California I'd say Amex has ~95% of the acceptance of V/MC. Every retail chain (sans Costco) that I can think of takes the Big 4. Strangely enough, most of the places I find that will only accept V/MC are Chinese owned restaurants. (There's one in San Mateo that balked at my Amex Gold even though there was an Amex sticker on the door!) Every other type of dining establishment I can think of has had no issue with me handing the Gold over to cover the check.

 

Otherwise, even up in the small towns along US-395, Amex (and Discover) seem to be welcomed as long as credit cards are accepted at all.

AODFCU 3% Visa ($10K), Amex PRG (NPSL), Amex Blue Cash ($24K), Amex Simply Cash+ ($4K), Amex Business Cash ($22.5K), Discover ($29.7K), Cap 1 Union Plus MC ($2500), Chase FU Visa Sig ($12K), Chase F Visa Sig ($8.3K), Chase CSP Visa Sig($6.5K), FCB/Elan Rewards Visa Sig($15K), Buckle ($1.3K), BofA AAA Rewards ($84.5K), Paypal credit ($10K), BBVA Clearpoints ($7.5K), Cap 1 Savor ($13K), PenFed PCR ($3500), Bank of the West CB MC ($3K), PNC Cash Rewards ($9.5K)
Message 22 of 54
Gunnerboy
Frequent Contributor

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?


@ChargedUp wrote:

Here in California I'd say Amex has ~95% of the acceptance of V/MC. Every retail chain (sans Costco) that I can think of takes the Big 4. Strangely enough, most of the places I find that will only accept V/MC are Chinese owned restaurants. (There's one in San Mateo that balked at my Amex Gold even though there was an Amex sticker on the door!) Every other type of dining establishment I can think of has had no issue with me handing the Gold over to cover the check.

 


I posted my story on MF a whle ago.  At this Asian restaurant that claimed to accept AMEX, I handed my Gold Card to the cashier who ran it once, then ran it a second time, finally said my card was declined.  I didn't believe that for a second, but paid with Visa and left.  From the parking lot, I called AMEX to see if there was an issue on my account.  The CS said their system showed the restaurant did run my card twice, both times voiding it at the POS.



"Not everyone who helps you is a friend, and not everyone who challenges you is an enemy."
Message 23 of 54
Overmedicated
Community Leader
Valued Contributor

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?

Progressive Insurance does not accept Amex.

FICO 8
Message 24 of 54
NRB525
Super Contributor

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?

While AMEX does try to make their acceptance sound like a non-issue, it's an issue. 

Papa Murphy's Take-And-Bake pizza places, multiple franchisees in my area won't take AMEX in the store. You might be able to get the app to do it, but best of luck configuring the pizza you want in the app.  

I made a purchase last weekend at a shop in the Pike Place Market. The stickers on the countertop included the "Shop Small" AMEX encouragement, so I pulled out the Gold Card. "Oh, do you have something Not AMEX? We don't like the fees."  So I used my CSR VISA Infinite card. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the VISA Infinite fees are quite comparable, or more than, the AMEX fees. 

I'm regularly finding places that don't take AMEX, so the common advice here to carry multiple payment network cards is excellent advice, founded in experience.  

And even where AMEX is accepted, such as where you can get groceries, it often will not code as groceries.

 

I am an AMEX fan, but also an AMEX realist. 

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
March 2021 $33k on $312k EQ 796 TU 798 EX 801
May 2021 Paid all Installments and Mortgages, one new Mortgage EQ 761 TY 774 EX 777
Message 25 of 54
Roadgeek395
Valued Member

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?


@ChargedUp wrote:

Here in California I'd say Amex has ~95% of the acceptance of V/MC. Every retail chain (sans Costco) that I can think of takes the Big 4. Strangely enough, most of the places I find that will only accept V/MC are Chinese owned restaurants. (There's one in San Mateo that balked at my Amex Gold even though there was an Amex sticker on the door!) Every other type of dining establishment I can think of has had no issue with me handing the Gold over to cover the check.

 

Otherwise, even up in the small towns along US-395, Amex (and Discover) seem to be welcomed as long as credit cards are accepted at all.



I live and work in the small towns on the US 395 corridor. Pretty much all of the major chain restaurants/gas stations/hotels all accept Amex but there are quite a few independent establishments that don't except Amex or discover. I know of a couple small doctors offices and utility companies that only accept visa and mc. My local barber shop doesn't accept any credit cards! Every time I get my hair cut I tell him to get with the times haha 

 

Message 26 of 54
Roadgeek395
Valued Member

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?


@KatSoDak wrote:

@longtimelurker wrote:

Re relative acceptance, while there is some value in knowing US stats, what really matters more are the actual places you shop.   If Amex has 99% acceptance but the 1% includes your major stores the 99% doesn't matter that much (and vice versa with a low percentage but "works for you")

Sure, you may travel a lot and acceptance will matter, but a) it's still going to "local" to wherever you are  and b) your day-to-day spending is probably more significant.


EXACTLY. When I was approved for the WF Propel which uses the Amex system I was super excited, thinking I could use it almost exclusively for my normal spend. However the first trip to my local grocery store burst my bubble. They don't accept Amex. Same with the other 2 stores I normally frequent. I'm in a rural area so that is a factor of course.  I can use it at Hyvee and large grocery stores in Fargo and Sioux Falls of course.

 

Luckily my propane supplier codes as gasoline so these every-six-week $400+ winter fills result in lots of Propel spend.


I work for a local propane supplier and we don't accept Amex or Discover. Oh and FWIW $400 every six weeks in a cold climate like ND isn't bad at all!🙂

Message 27 of 54
ChargedUp
Valued Contributor

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?


@Roadgeek395 wrote:

@ChargedUp wrote:

Here in California I'd say Amex has ~95% of the acceptance of V/MC. Every retail chain (sans Costco) that I can think of takes the Big 4. Strangely enough, most of the places I find that will only accept V/MC are Chinese owned restaurants. (There's one in San Mateo that balked at my Amex Gold even though there was an Amex sticker on the door!) Every other type of dining establishment I can think of has had no issue with me handing the Gold over to cover the check.

 

Otherwise, even up in the small towns along US-395, Amex (and Discover) seem to be welcomed as long as credit cards are accepted at all.



I live and work in the small towns on the US 395 corridor. Pretty much all of the major chain restaurants/gas stations/hotels all accept Amex but there are quite a few independent establishments that don't except Amex or discover. I know of a couple small doctors offices and utility companies that only accept visa and mc. My local barber shop doesn't accept any credit cards! Every time I get my hair cut I tell him to get with the times haha 

 


So far I haven't hit any that don't. Eastern Sierra Ice Cream and Copper Top BBQ are my usual stops when taking the fam up to Mammoth.   Work has taken me all the way up to Alturas and I think I remember a couple places that were V/MC there or Susanville (This was quite a while ago though.) but local dining never seemed to be an issue.

 

As far as utilities you're right. I believe PG&E takes Amex now, but SCE and my water company are V/MC (SCE uses Chase as their processor, you'd think they'd cut me a break using CFU for my bill dry.gif ) but I don't think I've ever tried using Amex for utility payments. This is where BBVA always comes in.

 

Now that I think about it, our veterinarian is V/MC/D only. It's a stretch thinking of places that don't take Amex, but yeah, they do exist.

AODFCU 3% Visa ($10K), Amex PRG (NPSL), Amex Blue Cash ($24K), Amex Simply Cash+ ($4K), Amex Business Cash ($22.5K), Discover ($29.7K), Cap 1 Union Plus MC ($2500), Chase FU Visa Sig ($12K), Chase F Visa Sig ($8.3K), Chase CSP Visa Sig($6.5K), FCB/Elan Rewards Visa Sig($15K), Buckle ($1.3K), BofA AAA Rewards ($84.5K), Paypal credit ($10K), BBVA Clearpoints ($7.5K), Cap 1 Savor ($13K), PenFed PCR ($3500), Bank of the West CB MC ($3K), PNC Cash Rewards ($9.5K)
Message 28 of 54
FinStar
Moderator

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?

Hmmm.  I guess I never leave home without it Smiley Very Happy   <shruggies>

Message 29 of 54
Turbobuick
Established Contributor

Re: Is Amex accepted as widely as Visa and MC domestically?

If I could carry only one card, it definitely would not be Amex.


@FinStar wrote:

Hmmm.  I guess I never leave home without it Smiley Very Happy   <shruggies>


 

Message 30 of 54
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