Post Office now accepting American Express

In one swoop, the Post Office has become the largest retail network in the UK to accept American Express cards.  As of last week, all 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK are accepting Amex for transactions for which they would previously have accepted a MasterCard or Visa.

At present, this only applies to transactions which you complete at a counter.  Self-service stamp printing machines will accept Amex from the end of the year but will take some time to convert them all.  It is also not yet possible to use American Express for online Post Office purchases.

Post Office

To quote from the press release:

“We want to make it as easy as possible to access our services through longer opening hours and by offering the widest range of payment options. We have the largest presence of any retailer in the UK, and this move will help the 17 million customers who visit us each week. Accepting American Express Cards at all of our branches allows us to open the door to more customers giving them flexibility and choice when it comes to paying for goods or services.”

What is not clear is exactly what transactions can be done with a credit card at a Post Office.  It is obviously OK when buying stamps or stationery.  I assume that the One4All gift cards which you can buy at a Post Office are also included although these can be tricky to use.  It is no longer possible to buy a TV Licence at a Post Office so that knocks out one potential option.

My initial view is that this is less exciting than it first appears, but you never know.

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Comments

  1. barnaby100 says:

    We have a very good relationship with our local sub post office as our business mail goes through there. I will try and pay my £2200 council tax bill by amex later today

  2. barnaby100 says:

    I went to my post office. Apparently there is no common system and each council sets up bill paying in a different way. Mine requires you to complete a transcash form. We did this and tried both a BA amex and a business platinum but it wouldn’t take either as the money receiver (the council) had blocked this as a payment method. He did say that you could pay some bills with a credit card though. Had it worked there would have been a flat fee of £3.20. My council is not labour!

    • Post Office still seems very iffy for the CT + Amex route.

      But try googling ‘can I pay my council tax through paypoint?’ and literally hundreds of different councils pop up advising that Paypoint is acceptable.

      Way to go IMV

      • barnaby100 says:

        Mine doesnt have pay point- but I will try that once I get the right kind of bill.

        • I meant try Paypoint somewhere like in a Co-Op store.

          I do take the point about this not being a 100% across the board success route to pay CT though, it is true that councils such as Sutton and New Forest seemed to have barred Paypoint as a payment method.

          I reckon they are in a fairly small minority though.

          • Latest – I went to pay off the rest of the year CT bill at my Co-Op Paypoint but the upper limit (there at least) is £200.

            Chap was volunteering to stick through multiple £200 transactions but I thought that might get the card blocked etc so just did the 1.

          • Latest there seems to be a limit of £200 per Paypoint transaction (at least in my Co-Op).

          • Same at mine. They were happy to put through multiples of £200 though until the bill was paid in full with my AMEX Gold card with double points for supermarket spend :-)

  3. Appears there is a paypoint in my local asda petrol station in Leeds. Does anyone have any experience of trying to pay a council tax bill at an asda paypoint? Thanks

  4. I can now tell you that the MR points from a couple of days ago (£200 on CT in Co-Op through PayPoint) have posted as supermarket spend ie 400 MR points.

  5. I guess there are a few of us asking ourselves some obvious questions.

    1. Just because I can get an easy (@2-4-£1) +/-4000 MR points on my CT bill, is that good enough? I used to get far more with 3Vs.

    2. Is http://pay.com/ around the corner? My CT was one of the easiest ways to get a great effective discount last time round. Now I’m no longer a cat, I’m a dog & I think big.

    3. What about other tricky bills such as SKY? Most of the utilities will take PayPoint/ Amex, but there are a few tricky ones. Worth hanging on for http://pay.com/ ? Better than an easy 1-4-£1 on Visa?

    4. And in the meantime, if I were prepared for the pain in the butt nature of £3.95 for the £50 Visa cards, is that better in Avios terms than going lazy (as per the PayPoint route)?

    • Actually we are all trying different ways of continuing to maximise our avios earnings until pay.com is up and running. So as we can all help each other greatly on this site, let’s just live with it until a better earning route appears. Let’s hope soon! So any route is better than none. Just don’t allow a direct debit to go out. Most bills can be paid with visa or MasterCard, but a lot will take amex. Those paid for Visa cards are quite useful for those not taking amex, and saves a car trip to a co op if ness. I am just paying all our bills now monthly until we see what happens. Your EDF plan is useful too, we have be fitted from that also. Very easy to load up with pre pay there. Basically avios for nothing.

      Also we have the fab ex EU Qatar sale to keep us booking in the meantime. Def better than BA at the moment, so worth a look.

  6. There’s also this route to a few more Avios/MRs on your energy bill, eg from EDF:

    ‘My energy account balance is in credit. Can I get a refund?

    If you think you’ve paid too much

    If you think you’ve made an overpayment, or that we’re charging you too much, please get in touch as soon as possible so we can refund any money we may owe you. Claim your credit and find out more here.

    To see if you’ve made an overpayment, check your most recent bill. If the reading we have given is more than the reading on your meter you could be owed a refund. Let us know as soon as possible by: [ETC]’

    They can’t refund via PayPoint, can they? So you’d keep the Amex points and just ask for the credit to a debit card.

  7. I did actually manage to buy 4 x £50 Visas @ T for £3.95 each fee and stick it all into SKY.

    Surprisingly easy, first time I did it as it happens. Faster than 3Vs. I averaged 1 minute each, including activating and paying into SKY ac. Setting up the ac must have taken a further couple of mins.

    Did the math & I made it that I was buying Avios for 0.85p each, given T points & Amex MRs, not too bad but not really worth the candle either.

    • Still, that does give me a BA flight to Europe 2 for £63.75 plus RFS fee.

      Luggage/ snack/ beer/ Heathrow.

      Superior service lol

      • So let’s do the comp:

        £200 into SKY via £3.95 Visas = 1840 Avios, costing 0.85p each. Flight is nearer.

        vs

        £200 into CT via Amex/ PayPoint = 400 Avios, costing 0. You’ll have to wait for that flight.

      • We could try and put a value on the extras, not that I ever pay for them on EJ or RA.

        Luggage = say £20
        Snack = £3
        Beer x 3 = £12
        Heathrow – convenience = 0, nice though it is.

        So maybe we could discount that BA flight by £35, not that I’d pay the cheapo b@ggers for those things, anyway.

  8. Heh heh! In a way I got my sadly missed mojo back.

    About 5000 MR points in a few days just by paying my council tax, SKY and water bills.

    Better to get points instead of nothing, I reckon.

    Paypoint + Amex is the way to go.

    • I found a couple of old 3V cards the other day and was dismayed to find that I could not use them to pay my Council Tax. On investigation I found that it was pay.com who blocked them. Am email elicited the information that ‘government financial transactions’ were not allowed.

      • I paid several 3V cards into my CT account last April/May. Later in the year, they were blocked and the council said it wasn’t a change on their side.

  9. Paid my TalkTalk bill today – this is fortunately one bill you can pay with Amex directly & no fee.

    You get a 10% discount if you pay within 24hrs of getting the emailed bill.

    Crazy.

    So even though the DD is otherwise due in a few days, you can save 10% just by watching out for the email and paying those few days early.

    If you’re later than 24hrs, you lost your opportunity.

    Not sure what the point of this is, as the cashflow advantage to TT is minimal and indeed they probably lost significantly more in 10% discount & Amex charges than waiting for my DD (ie BACS payment).

    They are probably trying to find a way to say they can be cheaper than (say) BT.

    All crazy good fun once a month and since they also give me unlimited free international calls, can’t say I’m complaining too much about this 24hrs-only 10% saving ‘window’ opportunity/ lottery!