Given that the miles and points earned on Amex cards are generally far higher than those earned on MasterCard and Visa transactions, it is always frustrating to visit an online retailer to find that American Express is not accepted.
In many cases, though, the same retailers will accept PayPal as a method of payment. And PayPal DOES let you use Amex.
You do not even need a PayPal account to pay with PayPal – you can click on the ‘Pay with PayPal’ link and enter your card details directly. That said, it makes sense to open an account and link your Amex card as you do not need to remember your card details when paying.
Next time you pay a retailer who do not accept Amex but do take PayPal, click through to PayPal instead.
If you have a PayPal account, remember that PayPal will, by default, take payment from your bank current account if it is linked. You need to click the link during the payment process to switch to your Amex card.
There are usually no extra fees for using PayPal with retailers. Some retailers manage to block PayPal from showing the American Express option if they do not accept Amex themselves, so this is not always a solution. In the majority of cases it will work just fine.
The only thing worth noting is that you may lose some of your protection if the retailer goes bust if you pay with PayPal. PayPal does have its own reimbursement scheme called PayPal Buyer Protection which may cover you but it is not legally enshrined. That said, if you use an Amex charge card, that is not covered by the compensation legislation either albeit that Amex does voluntarily make good any losses.
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