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Is the American Express card accepted much?

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Houston, Texas
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124 posts
386 reviews
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Is the American Express card accepted much?

My wife is headed to Melbourne for business and her boss here in the states is insisting she use the company American Express card as much as possible (He and his wife use the points for personal stuff!!!). We have generally found in our world travels that in major cities AMEX is accepted but mainly for hotels, car hire and bigger restaurants.

I heard somewhere that in Australia you may pay an upcharge to use an AMEX card.

Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

You will almost always pay a surcharge for using Amex in Aus and some places wont accept it at all.

Sydney/Melbourne
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17,924 posts
68 reviews
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2. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

Make sure she has a backup credit card like Visa or MasterCard.

Big hotels usually take Amex but a lot of shops and restaurants won't.

These days it's not uncommon for businesses to charge a surcharge on any credit card type transaction. Usually 1% -2% up o 10% for cabs.

Melbourne
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2,138 posts
29 reviews
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3. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

"You will almost always pay a surcharge for using Amex in Aus and some places wont accept it at all."

I disagree. I use my Amex as much as I can and only find it's not accepted in a few smaller places, and only a handful add an additional charge.

You certainly can't come with ONLY an Amex, bringing another credit card will give you full coverage.

Oz
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11,892 posts
51 reviews
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4. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

Hi,

My experience and useage is similar to BrawBlether and as it isn't you that's paying the surcharge it isn't an issue is it? Don't forget that you will need some cash as well as at least an additional Visa or Master card. I would also suggest that you obtain the cash before you depart or through a bank the exchange booths at the airports have higher fees/charges.

Cheers,

Sydney, Australia
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5,578 posts
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5. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

I'm a points hound too & don't have much trouble using my Amex. Sometimes there is a surcharge and some small shops only accept bank- issued credit/ debit cards.

Do be aware that many shops have a minimum of $10-$15 for cards.

Melbourne, Australia
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1,332 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

More and more retailers are passing on the surcharge to the customer, especially the smaller retailers. I think Amex costs the retailer more (not sure) and this is why many don't accept it.

Wangaratta...
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for Kota Kinabalu, Wangaratta, Sandakan
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7. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

I use my AMEX card most of the time. Major retailers, most major hotels, most petrol (gas) stations, many restaurants and some smaller retailers take the card and do not have a surcharge. Some retailers will not accept the card and a lot of smaller retailers will have a surcharge. I also carry a Visa card to cover these situations. However I have come across some smaller retailers that will put a surcharge on the Visa and occaisionaly one that will not take any cards.

Houston, Texas
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124 posts
386 reviews
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8. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

Thanks to all for these answers. As I said, it is my wife's boss who prefers the company AMEX card. We use a mix of Visa or cash but he had no understanding of international travel... dumb guy but he is her boss!!!

South Pacific
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for Hobart, Tasmania
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9. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

He sounds really nice. :)

Melbourne, Australia
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for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
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10. Re: Is the American Express card accepted much?

I had a company AMEX & my experience was like many of the others. Most department stores & major retailers accept it without any surcharge, but smaller stores & cafe's will often add the surcharge or not accept it. As it was a company card though, the surcharges weren't my problem:)

These days smaller stores will sometimes add the surcharge to Visa & MC purchases also, especially if they are under a certain amount.