How to Pay Lower Rates when Accepting American Express Cards


By Jaredd Galloway, ETA Certified Payments Professional

As the payments industry continues to evolve, so do the options small business owners have when it comes to the way they accept payments. It wasn’t too long ago that a business owner had to separately apply to accept Discover or American Express card payments. Often, merchants elected not to accept those two payment options as the general thought process was that not enough people carried those card types. Additionally, Discover Card and especially American Express were typically associated to significantly higher rates in the minds of small business owners and to an extent, that was true.

However, a few years ago Discover empowered merchant account providers to offer better rates by including Discover along with their Visa and MasterCard merchant numbers. The three card types were now bundled together in deposits and merchants were able to get comparable rate structures to Visa & MasterCard for their Discover transactions. Fast forward to today and American Express has now enable merchant account providers to do the same thing via the American Express OptBlue program.

With the Amex OptBlue program, a merchant’s American Express transactions can now be included in their deposits with Visa, MasterCard & Discover transactions. More importantly, Amex enabled merchant account providers, like, to control the rates associated to American Express transactions. Previously, small business owners paid high rates because they did not have the processing volume to negotiate a better deal through American Express. By working with a merchant account provider, small and medium sized business owners are now able to negotiate or get offered lower American Express processing rates. For some business types, this means paying rates below 2% for certain American Express transactions is not only a dream but a reality. In addition to the great rates, merchant account providers can now also service questions about American Express deposits or transactions. Pay less and get great service all in one place!

If you currently accept American Express, contact a merchant account provider that participates in the OptBlue program, like, and ask to receive a proposal that include switching to American Express OptBlue. Chances are, they can save you money on your Amex rates and your other processing fees too. If you are a new business, look for companies that automatically include OptBlue with all new merchant accounts, like does. Every penny counts as a small business owner and lowering your American Express rates is a good way to save a lot of pennies and even some dollars!


About the Author:
Jaredd Galloway is an Electronic Transaction Association Certified Payments Professional overseeing and providing merchant accounts for tens of thousands of small and medium sized business owners since 2002.


uSwipe Inc is a registered ISO of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA.
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