eBay Is Dropping Support for American Express

The AP:

It’s a notable blow to American Express, whose customers are often the most attractive among merchants and spend the most money per month on their cards. But it’s not the first time merchants have voiced opposition to AmEx’s business practices by walking away, most notably the warehouse chain Costco nearly a decade ago.

“After careful consideration, eBay has decided to no longer accept American Express globally effective Aug. 17 due to the unacceptably high fees American Express charges for processing credit card transactions,” said eBay spokesman Scott Overland, in a statement.

One-off dispute, or the start of a trend?

AmEx has been on an aggressive campaign, under its current CEO Steve Squeri, to be a more universally accepted payment option across all merchants in an effort to combat the negative image that AmEx is less accepted and only available for its cardmembers for travel, dining, high-end shops or in dense urban areas. AmEx says its cards are now accepted at 99% of the places that Visa and Mastercard are accepted in the U.S., a metric it achieved in 2019.

As a longtime Amex cardholder who more or less lives through it, that’s my experience. But a few weeks ago I stopped at a Sonic Drive-In and when I tried to pay, they told me my transaction was rejected, which didn’t sound right. Turns out they don’t accept American Express, and the clerk at the window didn’t know.

Wednesday, 5 June 2024