More on Accepting Amex & Discover

Like everything else in the industry the decision to accept Amex is not simple. Some processors are being fair and others are gouging and it is of course predictable which is which. Most people that have an Amex card also have other credit cards as they know they aren’t accepted everywhere. They have the card for the rewards which are usually generous. People that have Amex will be loyal to a business that accepts it over one that does not when they have a choice so that would be the main reason for accepting it, to compete.

The cost of accepting Amex has dropped considerably (depending upon the processor) now that they are being processed and billed through the major Acquirers. Below is a list of the Amex Interchange rates in Canada

Amex Greater Than $1000 Less Than $1000 Greater Than $500 Less Than $500 Greater Than $200 Less Than $200
Retail 1.60% 2.00%
Services 1.60% 2.00%
Restaurant 1.60% 2.40%
Mail Order & Internet 1.60% 2.00%
Healthcare 1.60% 2.00%
B2B Wholesale 1.60% 2.00%
Amex T&E 1.60% 2.40%
Prepaid 1.60% 2.00%
Amex Other 1.60% 2.00%


Interchange for those new to this blog is the fee paid to the card issuing banks in this case Amex. The Amex rates are now competitive with most Visa and MasterCard rates although still slightly higher. If you are on cost plus program you will most likely get full advantage of the new rates otherwise maybe not, I have seen them as high as 3.40% + network fees.

Discover cards are from the U.S. and attract some higher network fees (foreign) but the interchange rates of 1.20% for electronic and 1.60% for card not present transactions is very reasonable. Discover may attract some extra business if you are in a tourist area just make sure your rates are reasonable again the best way to do this is to have a cost plus plan.

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