Overview. If you are using a credit card for purchasing items or services at an American Express store, you have probably seen the message requesting that you contact your account in order to make changes to your existing card account information. As of October 2021, AMEX will no longer provide this link for the same reason: “American Express does not provide a Merchant Account link-up.” However, note: as of October 2021, AMEX will provide the following information on its site for American Express Merchant Financing:
We strongly encourage you to keep reading! You will find a new, improved and easy-to-use page links that will provide you with the very latest information on American Express Merchant Accounts. Note: as of October 2021, AMEX will no longer provide the link-up fee to its members. As a reminder, AMEX does provide the Merchants with discounts and added benefits such as rebate programs and high interest rates.
What exactly do those words mean? They mean that when you become an American Express merchant, you will no longer be required to pay AMEX additional fees for accepting cards from other merchants. The fees AMEX charges its members are called interchange fees and are based on the percentage of a sale that comes from credit or debit card sales made by customers you refer to your business through your website, by phone, or by mail. The higher the percentage, the higher the rates. For example, if you have four thousand dollars in credit card sales and three hundred clients who order from you through the telephone, your fees will be:
o AMEX flat rate fees: These are the fees that AMEX charges to all businesses who wish to accept cards from other companies. The flat rate fee is charged regardless of how many sales you actually make. Your AMEX membership fee doesn't cover this. You will need to pay an AMEX membership fee separately.
o AMEX commercial loan rate: This is the one factor that can really drive up the cost of being an American Express merchant. AMEX charges very high rates for credit card sales that are processed through their websites. This is due to the fact that the processing of these cards is the single largest expense for their businesses. The commercial loan rate that AMEX charges for commercial loans is also determined by the amount of credit card sales that your business receives. This too, will affect your fees.
o AMEX merchant service charge: AMEX includes a special category of fees called the Merchant Service Charge. The AMEX MSC is based on the amount of credit card sales processed through your website during a six month period. The charge includes the amount of time it takes to process that many transactions. This also factors into determining your AMEX membership fee.
All these factors, including AMEX fees, can vary greatly between different merchants. Your best bet is to spend some time researching AMEX fees before applying for any credit card merchant account with American Express. A good merchant reference guide can walk you through all the fees and other requirements of applying with American Express.
If you have already decided that you want to apply for a merchant account with American Express, don't rush into the process. Take some time to research different companies and their fees. You'll likely find that AMEX fees and other types of fees vary between different processor companies. An AMEX discount rate might be exactly what you need for your business, but you'll probably pay too much if you apply with AMEX alone. A merchant reference guide can help you make the right decision.
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