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A list of merchants who accept AMEX in Canada

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  • Oct 13th, 2017 10:10 am
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Feb 17, 2017
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coolintheshade wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 1:19 pm
But, I'm sure there are more basic credit cards in people's wallets, than premium cards, due to the required income for premium cards.
So I can see why merchants would compare that way.
Most merchants probably see far more basic cards than premium.
While I agree, the vast majority of Amex cardholders probably also have another premium card that they use when AmEx isn't accepted.
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coolintheshade wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 1:19 pm
But, I'm sure there are more basic credit cards in people's wallets, than premium cards, due to the required income for premium cards.
So I can see why merchants would compare that way.
Most merchants probably see far more basic cards than premium.
Just like they see far more MC/Visa than Amex. It's like another premium category.

Honest merchants can go for option (a) to accept a bundle to get lower rates but also accept Amex (or b).

If the merchant accepts a bundle offer that lowers their cost on MC/Visa by including Amex but then decides on their own to "refuse" Amex, they are violating the merchant agreements.

They can't have their cake and eat it too :)

If they want to legally refuse Amex, they need to (b) opt for the package that doesn't include Amex from their payment provider even if that means paying more for MC/Visa.

They have that choice.

The 'bad' merchants are trying to pull an RFD-style scam and go for option (c) which is (a) plus "say they don't take Amex".

That's not following the contract. It's within our rights as customers to pay with Amex for any merchant choosing option (a) or (c).
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CanadianSpruce wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 1:34 pm
While I agree, the vast majority of Amex cardholders probably also have another premium card that they use when AmEx isn't accepted.
Such a great point. If my SPG Amex isn't accepted I use Cap1 Aspire WE.
POLL: How frequent is your RRSP-matching?
Plastiq: Pay any bill with credit card for 0-2.5% fee (help meet min spending and keep old cards active!)
Rewards program transfer times (e.g. SPG->Aeroplan, Marriott->SPG, Amex MR->SPG...)
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coolintheshade wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 12:15 pm
+1
I don't really understand why Amex insists on charging exorbitant fees compared with Visa and MC, when they can just match their rates, and have a whole slew of additional merchants accepting their cards, and a ton more not refusing their cards.
I'm sure that Amex has a whole team of actuaries and math geniuses who have crunched the numbers, and determined that the losses to be incurred by lowering their merchant fees would not be recouped by increases in merchants accepting the cards despite the lowered fees.
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ace604 wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 2:20 pm
Just like they see far more MC/Visa than Amex. It's like another premium category.

Honest merchants can go for option (a) to accept a bundle to get lower rates but also accept Amex (or b).

If the merchant accepts a bundle offer that lowers their cost on MC/Visa by including Amex but then decides on their own to "refuse" Amex, they are violating the merchant agreements.

They can't have their cake and eat it too :)

If they want to legally refuse Amex, they need to (b) opt for the package that doesn't include Amex from their payment provider even if that means paying more for MC/Visa.

They have that choice.

The 'bad' merchants are trying to pull an RFD-style scam and go for option (c) which is (a) plus "say they don't take Amex".

That's not following the contract. It's within our rights as customers to pay with Amex for any merchant choosing option (a) or (c).
Are you saying that if a merchant refuses to accept Amex but your Amex transaction still goes through they must be going for option (c)?

If they choose option (b) it is impossible for your Amex purchase to go through?

I'm thinking of when you said that a merchant told you they don't accept Amex and you still successfully paid with Amex.

If a merchant is pulling a (c) and has some visible Amex sign in the store we should definitely report them to www.takeamex.ca
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minimalist wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 2:27 pm
Are you saying that if a merchant refuses to accept Amex but your Amex transaction still goes through they must be going for option (c)?

If they choose option (b) it is impossible for your Amex purchase to go through?

I'm thinking of when you said that a merchant told you they don't accept Amex and you still successfully paid with Amex.
Yes, this is a continuation of this topic that goes back a few posts.

I've had Amex accepted now at least 4 or 5 places (cumulative total of dozens of purchases) where either:
  1. they do not display anywhere that they accept Amex, or
  2. they actually say they don't take Amex (orally), or
  3. they have written/printed signs saying "we don't accept Amex".
In some of these case Amex "just works".
In some cases Amex works if I said "Visa" but not if I said "MasterCard" when they asked me what method I was paying with.

Some of the a/b cases could legitimately be honest omissions or honestly ignorant employees (or honest employees misinformed by ignorant or dishonest managers, or owners). Case (c) is just blatant outright dishonesty.

Like someone else suggested, it's even possible that it's more likely the people posting signs actually DO take Amex and they are posting signs not to avoid the question or save time after rejections at the terminal, but just to try to reduce the number of people who attempt Amex to near-zero.

If you see the sign you will likely just try a different card. I thought "hmm, really? Let's just see anyways because this is a TD payment terminal and I've used Amex on it elsewhere ... oh look st that 'accepted' you DO take Amex" (was the silent conversation I had with myself in my head :))

So for me now, if I see a sign that says "we don't take Amex" I'm for sure going to test that out to see if it's true from now on :) ... and at least twice for places that ask you for card type (once each for "Visa" and "MasterCard") :)

On this point ...
if a merchant is pulling a (c) and has some visible Amex sign in the store we should definitely report them to www.takeamex.ca
No, I've never seen a store with an Amex sign say they don't take Amex :)

Well, I had one new A&W drive-thru worker say "no" but he was new and I am guessing just assumed/guessed wrong. This is a location that happily accepts Amex inside - and has a sticker on the front door. I said "yes you do, I pay with it here all the time" and then he said he was new and thanks "he learned something new".

So it's funny how an employee can be wrong like that ... they maybe just assume based on prior jobs or ... ??
POLL: How frequent is your RRSP-matching?
Plastiq: Pay any bill with credit card for 0-2.5% fee (help meet min spending and keep old cards active!)
Rewards program transfer times (e.g. SPG->Aeroplan, Marriott->SPG, Amex MR->SPG...)
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Unexpectedly, Burger King does not accept Amex. Wow.... an American company in Canada does not take American Express.
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EdisonL299 wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 5:18 pm
Unexpectedly, Burger King does not accept Amex. Wow.... an American company in Canada does not take American Express.
Could be that BK Canada franchicees do not want to pay AMEX merchant fees, since Tim Hortons accepts AMEX.

Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes have the same parent company, Restaurant Brands International (RBI).
3G Capital (Brazilian/American multibillion-dollar investment firm) owns 51% of RBI.
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EdisonL299 wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 5:18 pm
Unexpectedly, Burger King does not accept Amex. Wow.... an American company in Canada does not take American Express.
Domino's doesn't appear to accept Amex either.
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tk1000 wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 5:43 pm
Could be that BK Canada franchicees do not want to pay AMEX merchant fees, since Tim Hortons accepts AMEX.

Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes have the same parent company, Restaurant Brands International (RBI).
3G Capital (Brazilian/American multibillion-dollar investment firm) owns 51% of RBI.
Good to know... TBH I was really shocked to see the machine displaying "card not accepted" after I inserted my Amex, as Burger King is a well-known and huge American restaurant. Maybe the fee charged by Amex is much higher in Canada? Why is Amex accepted almost everywhere in USA but not in Canada? Very curious about this.
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Platypus wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 6:57 pm
Domino's doesn't appear to accept Amex either.
Domino's is from Canada right?
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Kiraly wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 2:25 pm
I'm sure that Amex has a whole team of actuaries and math geniuses who have crunched the numbers, and determined that the losses to be incurred by lowering their merchant fees would not be recouped by increases in merchants accepting the cards despite the lowered fees.
Then they need new math geniuses.
I don't see why Amex couldn't survive, when Visa and MasterCard seem to be doing well.
You could argue not as many people have an Amex compared to Visa and MC, and you'd probably be right.
However, that in my opinion is due to the acceptance of the card.
Have more merchants accepting the card, and most likely, more people will carry one.
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Jan 9, 2011
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coolintheshade wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 10:05 pm
Then they need new math geniuses.
I don't see why Amex couldn't survive, when Visa and MasterCard seem to be doing well.
American Express has always branded itself as a prestige brand. It highlights that with its "membership has its privileges" trademark, and its no-carrying-balances charge cards (something Visa and MC don't do) with their high annual fees are at the centre of it all. Amex considers itself to be a cut above Visa and Mastercard. Whether it actually is or not is beside the point, prestige has always been Amex's branding.

You can bet your boots that Amex's math geniuses know exactly what they are doing re: merchant fees. Amex does not need to get new math geniuses who will tell it to lower merchant fees. That's not how a prestige brand makes money.
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Kiraly wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 11:08 pm
American Express has always branded itself as a prestige brand. It highlights that with its "membership has its privileges" trademark, and its no-carrying-balances charge cards (something Visa and MC don't do) with their high annual fees are at the centre of it all. Amex considers itself to be a cut above Visa and Mastercard. Whether it actually is or not is beside the point, prestige has always been Amex's branding.

You can bet your boots that Amex's math geniuses know exactly what they are doing re: merchant fees. Amex does not need to get new math geniuses who will tell it to lower merchant fees. That's not how a prestige brand makes money.
Prestige brand or not it is still in pain in the butt to not be able to use your Amex at many stores. This may not be the case in the US but it sure is for me in Canada.

When I go to a new store or restaurant I have "Amex acceptance anxiety". You've heard of "range anxiety" with electric cars? Well, for me I don't know if my Amex will be accepted or not. It is a kind of low level stress that I don't feel about my Mastercard or Visa.

I'd rather not have my payment method give me any kind of stress. Sure, Amex has some good churning bonuses that may offset this stress. But in the long term I would rather have a card free of "acceptance anxiety". It's just a pain.

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