Trying to buy some trainers for my son from the Decathlon website recently, I was reminded of an interesting trick which you can use at retailers which do not take American Express.
This assumes that you are keen to push up your Amex spend to hit a bonus or voucher target.
Here is the payment page of the Decathlon website:
You will see that American Express is not accepted. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot use an Amex card.
Look elsewhere on the payment page and you will see the the Paypal logo.
PayPal DOES let you use American Express.
This is what comes up – it opens my Paypal account, which has a BA Amex card linked to it, and I can use it:
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 American Express card as you do not need to remember your card details when paying in the future.
There are no extra fees for using PayPal with retailers.
Note that 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, as with Decathlon, it will work just fine.
The only thing worth noting is that you lose some of your consumer protection if the retailer goes bust if you pay with PayPal. This is because you do not have a direct contract with the retailer. PayPal does have its own reimbursement scheme called PayPal Buyer Protection which may cover you but it is not legally enshrined.
Next time you pay a retailer who does not accept Amex but does take PayPal, click through to PayPal instead.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.