Probably because Amex isn't as popular in the UK, therefore it isn't widely accepted.
This might be useful for future reference:
Any semi decent guidebook would have told you that.
Most travellers aren't "dismayed" because they have done their research before they travel. The card is simply not beneficial to the retailer.
- Amex charges a much higher commission rate than Mastercard and Visa
- Anyone in the UK who has an Amex card is bound to also have a Visa card or a Mastercard or both
There is, thus, very little incentive for retailers to accept Amex.
It's probably best not to assume that a particuler card will be widely accepted when travelling to a different part of the world. Do some research wherever you are going to ensure that you are carrying the most appropriate cards for that region or country.
Hi Ida, and welcome,
Not only do American Express charge a higher % than other card companies (how do you think you get the various reward points etc.?), they also keep the business waiting sometimes up to a few months for their money. Supermarket and petrol station chains usually take Amex but they are large enough to force the Amex rate down.
Hope you enjoyed the holiday apart from that
" how FEW businesses and hotels accept American Express. Almost 90 percent of our purchases had to go on the Visa card."
So you paid for your purchases with credit cards, mostly the Visa?
I'm not understanding what it is you are dismayed about - the lack of Amex acceptance? Do you work for Amex?
Why should it matter which card is accepted as long as one is?
"Why should it matter which card is accepted as long as one is?"
It may matter to the OP as they may get better rewards/points using an Amex card.
I use my Amex for miles to enable me to get flights cheaply but I am aware that many places don't accept it which is why I have other cards.
There are many places in the USA that don't accept Amex either.
Good job you didn't bring a Discover card.
You would have been really disappointed
I can't see how anyone who has done even a tiny amount of research could be dismayed. It's one of the most well known and well reported facts about using a card in the UK.