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the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

over here
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the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

So, I got a new credit card. Apparently Bank of America and MBNA have merged and they are somehow issuing cards with American Express. As per their representative, this now makes them one of the largest global credit companies and she assured me that Amex will be easier to use in Europe. It's probably too soon to see any sort of evidence but I was wondering if the locals could let us know if they start to notice changes. thanks.

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paris
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1. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

Hmm - As long as AMEX will coust more than the triple for the merchants than other cards i have some doubts :

For a merchant Visa and Mastercard take a fee of 0.65-0.85% and Amex 2.75-3.75%.

Santa Clara
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2. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

hmmmmmmmm i have a lot of merchants tell me they "prefer to accept cash". so far, i've been rejected at least once per day at cafes. i ate at a restaurant that posted that their credit card machine is down for repair. i get this feeling that merchants here don't really like credit cards. perhaps it's just my luck? (perception error?)

paris
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3. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

Not a perception matter : there is also a minimum fee (1.37 for MC -i suppose the same for Visa and 3.80 for Amex)

This explains some refusals for small amounts (if a merchant pays 1.37€ fee for a 11 € meal, it's already a dent in his benefits)

That's why you will often see a minimum set for CC acceptance (15€ is commmon)

Santa Clara
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4. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

ahhhhhhhh that explains things. dang VIsa and MC are bloodsuckers!

paris
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5. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

If Visa and MC are "bloodsuckers", what would be a good name for Amex ?

the big blue marble
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6. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

This is the land of Ice Cream shops that close for family holiday in August. I don't see small merchants changing their practices just to satisfy a million or so US visitors.

They refuse to pay the exhorbitant percentage on PRINCIPLE and do not care if that means loosing business.

AMEX has a partnership with Air France, so even locals are putting pressure on shop owners. These same shop owners HAVE the AF/AMEX card so they understand the client loyalty that develops from using this card, but they still refuse to budge. So Far.

We'll let you know if that changes.

London, UK
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7. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

>>>she assured me that Amex will be easier to use in Europe<<<

You've been lied to. Between it, Visa and Mastercard, Amex is by far the least accepted in Europe.

over here
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8. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

ajeleonard - oh I was certain it was just a customer service sales rap. But I wanted to ask the locals since they're a more objective source.

all others - thanks for the replies. The rep I spoke to basically explained it as "branding" - they'll be using the Amex name but continuing VISA practices - which made me wonder if that meant lower fees for merchants. Like I said, too soon to tell but might be interesting to watch the change (if you're nerdy like me)

over here
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9. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

ajeleonard - oh I was certain it was just a customer service sales rap. But I wanted to ask the locals since they're a more objective source.

all others - thanks for the replies. The rep I spoke to basically explained it as "branding" - they'll be using the Amex name but continuing VISA practices - which made me wonder if that meant lower fees for merchants. Like I said, too soon to tell but might be interesting to watch the change (if you're nerdy like me)

Kensington, MD...
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10. Re: the Amex is coming, the Amex is coming!

Once upon a time, AMEX was only issued to well-off people and there was a certain cachet associated with having the card. Upscale merchants agreed to take AMEX even though the merchant fees were outrageous because they thought it would be attractive to wealthier clientele. Today, when virtually anybody over 6 years old can get a credit card, it's not such a marker of status. Ergo, merchants have no real interest in taking AMEX because it's too expensive.