American Express & Betting Sites
The American Express is one of the old forms of credit cards in circulation. The company has started in the 1850’s has made the first charge card already in the 1950’s. As you might have already noticed most bookmakers are not currently accepting American Express as a form of payment. This is due to high fees that are charged by the AmEx: also retailers do generally not take payments with the American Express. In this article, we will look at the reasons why you can’t usually deposit into your betting account by using American Express, but we will also tell you about ways that you can go around it and still use your AmEx to fund your gambling.
Betting Sites that Accept American Express
It is challenging to find any betting site that accepts payments via American Express, and this is due to the hefty fees that this company is charging. There is also another issue with online gambling and American Express: this is an American company, and it also has the name in the brand. Since online gambling is mostly illegal in the US, they are incredibly uncomfortable to allow funding of betting accounts even from customers that are living in countries, like the UK, where betting is entirely legal. Also if in theory, American Express should permit UK customers to fund a bookmaker account, in reality, these transactions are usually blocked by the provider. So if you find a bookmaker that is willing to take payments through the AmEx, the transaction will be probably stopped by the card provider.
By reading the American Express terms, we can also see that all betting transactions are treated as cash and will be charged under the cash rate. This means that you will be charged 27.9% on every betting transaction which is why it is probably a good idea not to use it.
Since American Express merchant fees are incredibly high, the cardholders are generally not able to use their cards also in other situations outside gambling. Visa and MasterCard have a fee that is usually 2% or even less but American Express is charging merchants around 5%, and it is not surprising to see that lots of them are avoiding this card. From a betting site point of view, the majority of those sites are actually offering free deposits and withdrawals: it is therefore pretty clear why they are not accepting AmEx as a payment method.
Even if you are able to find a betting site that does accept American Express you will be excluded from the same reason from offers and rewards. Not everything is lost however if you still want to make a deposit using an American Express! Read on to find some indirect solutions that we have identified for you.
American Express Betting
As we have mentioned, it is entirely legal to fund a UK gambling account using an American Express card that is registered in the UK. Ultimately though the decision on which transactions are allowed is on the financial provider (AmEx) and this could result in you being unable to fund your betting accounts as the deposits are getting blocked. Most of the time they tend to say that as this is an industry that is at risk of fraud they are not authorising transactions towards bookmakers. Even if you are lucky enough to convince them that bookmakers in the UK are entirely safe, your transactions might get charged as a cash transaction and with very high fees.
One of the reasons why American Express is so famous is that they do provide extensive rewards schemes where you can get points and other travel advantages. It is also known that American Express holders are more affluent and usually spend 3-5x more compared with a user of a Visa or a MasterCard. It is quite surprising that they haven’t modified their policies especially in those countries where it is legal to gamble like in the UK. Since now also in the US lots of states are starting to legalise betting, this situation is likely to evolve positively, and we will let you know immediately if this is the case.
How To Fund A Betting Account Using American Express
As we have seen it is very challenging and expensive to fund a betting account using American Express. A way around however does exist, and it involves using e-wallet as an intermediary. So if your only mean of payment is an American Express you should go this way also considering that the vast majority of bookmakers will not charge any depositing fee from e-wallets (both for depositing and withdrawing). Having said that you are almost certainly not going to receive reward points, bonuses and cash back from AmEx in this scenario.
Regarding fees, it is good to know that funding an eWallet (like Paypal, Skrill, Neteller or EcoPayz) using American Express is going to cost you similarly as the other credit cards so in the region of 1.9%. There are some restrictions tough as some digital transactions to eWallet might still be blocked by American Express and also some eWallets like PayPal will not accept this card. The best thing to do is to check with American Express first and even the eWallet service before proceeding.
Another option is to use your American Express credit card to buy cash vouchers like PaySafeCard. You can then use those to fund a betting site account. The issue with this approach is that this transaction it is likely to be classed as a cash transaction, and therefore you will be charged higher fees.
Generally, we would recommend using other payments methods then American Express when funding betting accounts whether possible.
American Express History
The company started as an express shipping company operating in the state of New York. The company grow with the expansion of railroads, and in 1882 they decided to move into finance. Firstly they launched travellers’ cheques in 1891 and in 1950 they issued the first charge card which benefitted from the post-war US economic boom. In 1966 the first gold card was launched and in 1984 the platinum. American Express has now some different cards some of which are free but others that do have annual fees but also points system rewards.