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3 Great Reasons to say YES to American Express

May 13, 2016

If you’re like most merchants, you struggle with the decision to accept or deny American Express cards, complaining that their merchant fees are so much higher than that of Visa / MasterCard.

So, why are AMEX fees so high, and are there any benefits a merchant can realize by accepting American Express?

American Express has a different business model than most credit card issuers. Rather than making their money on interest rates like the other major card brands, American Express makes their money from their annual fees and merchant fees. They also offer value added services to their card holders that allow for rewards such as cash back, miles, points, corporate expense management, concierge services and more, establishing AMEX as a premium card, the first of its kind.

That’s all well and good, but why should I accept American Express at my business?

Here are 3 reasons…

  • American Express is the leader in corporate business cards. In order for executives to ensure getting reimbursed for their business expenses, consumers may avoid spending in places that do not accept American Express.
  • American Express offers desirable “rewards” for using their card brand, which has proven to attract a more affluent customer base.
  • American Express customers have a higher spending average, because cardholders often receive special incentives for meeting a higher spending threshold. In turn, merchants can expect higher sales margins from American Express cardholders.  

Our Recommendation…

It doesn’t hurt to keep your option for accepting American Express switched on, even if you leave the little sign off the door and shy away from AMEX transactions. With Riverside, it doesn’t cost any extra for keeping the option. This way, you can always choose to accept the card if you start to feel that not accepting AMEX is affecting your bottom line, or simply take them on a case by case basis. You never know when that “big spender” might just make your entire week!




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