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American Express in the UK

edited 31 May at 11:31PM in Credit Cards
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Researching_20Researching_20 Forumite
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MoneySaving Newbie
edited 31 May at 11:31PM in Credit Cards

Hi,
I had an American Express (Amex) card 6 or 7 years ago and I found it quite hard to make use of it, at least in the UK.
I also noted at the time that even online some websites would not accept them and airlines would charge me extra for using an Amex.

Those of you with American Express cards, do you have any issues when using them in the UK?
Where are you able to use them?
Do the standard shops like Tesco / Asda / Wilko allow you to use them? What about online? (eg. Amazon)

I am basically considering getting an Amex, but I am unsure as to whether I would be able to actually make use of it in the same way as you use a Visa or Mastercard.
Thanks.

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Replies

  • inspectorperezinspectorperez Forumite
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    I’m relatively new to AMEX cards having acquired my first about 2 years ago through Costco membership. The cash back rewards were generous and paid out in cash on an annual basis. Online account management is a doddle and it is very easy to download statements or transactions in pdf or Csv formats. There are a few retailers who don’t accept them, but the only one in my own experience is Eurocarparts. Certainly ASDA, Lidl’s, Aldi, John Lewis, Wilco all accept AMEX cards which I also use for most of my online purchases. This is certainly my main card now of preference. Oh and one other thing, if you register with google pay you get notifications on your smartphone to confirm the payment. I find this very useful.
  • D3xt3r5L4bD3xt3r5L4b Forumite
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    Only B&Q is the major retailer to not accept it.
    So the solution is to buy a B&Q giftcard from a shop that does accept Amex then use the gift card. 
  • penners324penners324 Forumite
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    A lot of smaller vendors now use iZettle/ SumUp etc as their card POS provider and take Amex.
  • edited 1 June at 7:44AM
    MalkytheheedMalkytheheed Forumite
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    edited 1 June at 7:44AM
    Very rare now to find retailers that won't take it. As mentioned B&Q is one. But to be honest the only reason to shop there is laziness/convenience. Everything in B&Q can be found elsewhere much cheaper. 
  • blue.peterblue.peter Forumite
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    No problem. I put pretty much all of my spending on credit cards, and 95% or so of it is on AmEx. There are a few retailers - mostly smaller ones - that don't accept it, so having either Visa or MasterCard as a backup is still a good idea. Amazon and the major supermarkets (I use Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Tesco) do. B&Q and my local VW/Audi dealer are the only large firms I've found that doesn't accept it. For online purchases, you can link AmEx to a PayPal account. (AmEx is my default payment method for both Amazon and PayPal.)
  • quackers82quackers82 Forumite
    63 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker PPI Party Pooper
    I find i can use Amex in most places and its my default card , it's not as hard to use as some would make out for everyday shopping. Places i have struggling the most is paying for things like Car Insurance in 1 go, not found an insurer who takes Amex yet. 
  • chanz4chanz4 Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Xmas Saver!
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    I find i can use Amex in most places and its my default card , it's not as hard to use as some would make out for everyday shopping. Places i have struggling the most is paying for things like Car Insurance in 1 go, not found an insurer who takes Amex yet. 

    Aviva does with me
    Don't put your trust into an Experian score - it is not a number any bank will ever use & it is generally a waste of money to purchase it. They are also selling you insurance you dont need.
  • edited 1 June at 11:09AM
    NoodleDoodleManNoodleDoodleMan Forumite
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    edited 1 June at 11:09AM
    I believe Amex UK publish online a list of retailers etc. who now accept their cards - I have had one for a few years and have noticed that fewer and fewer shops still decline Amex.
    As above B&Q - also B&M, Home Bargains and Savers, also Superdrug (I think).... off the top of my head, a very few others as well.
    Lidl relatively recently started taking them, Aldi a few years previously.
  • jbrassyjbrassy Forumite
    27 posts
    10 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I've had an Amex card for a few years now and not had many issues with it. From experience, the main places it isn't accepted are in small shops and pubs, especially outside London. The best place to look is here:
    https://www.whoacceptsamex.co.uk/

    When it comes to online shopping, as others have said, the best thing to do is add your Amex card to PayPal and pay through that. You also mentioned that you used to get charged extra by retailers for paying with Amex compared with using a Visa or Mastercard. This is no longer an issue since it has been illegal since January 2018 to charge consumers extra for paying with a credit card. See:
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2018/01/cards-fees-to-be-banned-from-saturday/ 
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