In today’s world, customers want the flexibility that comes with paying by credit card. Indeed, credit cards are among the most popular ways that consumers pay for their purchases. If you are not accepting credit cards, you could find yourself in trouble – especially if you want to sell products and services online. However, you can’t just accept credit cards. You have to set up accounts, and you have to arrange transaction processing with a network. One of the networks that you can have your credit card transactions processed through is American Express.
Accepting American Express
While not the most popular credit card, American Express is nevertheless used by consumers when they are making purchases. It might be to your advantage to accept American Express credit cards. You will, however, have to apply to accept American Express cards. In order to be a merchant that can accept American Express credit cards, you need to fulfill the following requirements:
- You must be a business. You should be registered and/or licensed in your state as a partnership, corporation or proprietorship.
- You must not have had any problems with other merchant accounts. Your merchant credit must be good.
- If you are a travel agent, you will be required to provide a valid ARC/IATA number.
There are two main plans that American Express offers to merchants. You should choose the one that is most advantageous to you:
- Discount rateplan offers you the option of having American Express take a percentage of every transaction your run with your customers. There are no annual or monthly fees, and you are encouraged to manage you account online.
- Flat fee plan is a little different. This plan is designed for very small businesses that are likely to process less than $5,000 in American Express sales. Instead of paying a discount rate, you pay flat monthly fee. American Express claims that it is only $5.95 – with no other fees – when you manage your account online.
It is important to note that by setting up an American Express card, you cannot automatically accept other credit cards. You have to set up to process Discover and MasterCard/Visa cards separately. These transaction processers will have their own fees and procedures.
Small business network
One of the advantages of accepting American Express credit cards is that it can make developing relationships with other businesses a little bit easier. American Express has its own network of small and medium sized businesses that can help you simplify your supply chain, or get access to professional services that you might need. Additionally, it provides you the access to the network that can help you better market your own products and services in a business to business setting.
Before you decide to accept American Express credit cards, though, you should carefully consider your needs. It may be that you want to accept all cards – including American Express – or you may need to limit costs by accepting fewer cards. Do a careful analysis of your business before making a decision.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.