American Express Fees Too Expensive?

American Express Fees Too Expensive?

Are American Express Fees Too Expensive? Try OptBlue.

Accepting Amex as a form of payment has always been a challenge. The American Express fees are substantially higher than those of Visa or MasterCard and often times it means that smaller businesses won’t even consider accepting the card type. Why are they so high? Well, this is how American Express makes most of it’s profits. Also, according to the American Express website, their cardholders average almost 60% higher incomes than Visa/MC customers – thus making accepting the card a very lucrative option.

Still…I’m not quite sold. There needs to be a way to accept American Express more affordably, rather than dealing with Amex directly. This is where the OptBlue program comes in.

OptBlue? Tell me more.

OptBlue is an instance where rates are offered in somewhat of a wholesale fashion to certain payment processors. These processors will charge merchants a markup on top of American Express Rates in the same fashion they do for Visa and MasterCard. This helps merchants because only a base rate is being set by American Express.

This option is being offered to businesses that process less than $1 million in American Express transactions annually. If you do breach the $1 million threshold, you will be asked to work with American Express independently.

What Are OptBlue Rates?

As with all credit card processing fees, the rate/percentage and the transaction fee depends on three different factors:

1 – The MCC code (merchant category code)

2 – Ticket/transaction size

3 – Whether it is a card present vs. card not present transaction

For a better look at the fee structure, it’s best to contact your merchant processor or a processor that offers the OptBlue program. At Choice Merchant Services, we can offer the best American Express pricing based on those three criteria listed above. If you have any interest, please fill out our contact form or give us a call at 800-530-1193.