American Express has started Small Business Saturdays the Saturday after Black Friday to support small businesses. They launched a large marketing campaign to support shopping at small businesses and have gotten local government officials involved in the campaign. American Express cardholders receive a rebate for purchases made with their American Express card on Small Business Saturday at small businesses. Businesses that participate are included in the marketing in their area and have reported increase sales on Small Business Saturday. The growing sales reports and increase in participating businesses indicate that American Express has successful used this campaign to increase the number of small businesses accepting American Express cards.
Costco was a unique retailer because the warehouse store exclusively accepted American Express in stores. Consumers had the option to pay with cash, debit card or American Express. Costco recently announced that they will no longer accept American Express after March 31, 2016. The retailer and American Express were not able to agree on terms for renewing their expiring agreement.
Which big box stores accept American Express?
American Express is widely accepted at big box stores. Big box stores have an advantage over small retailers because they have more negotiating power with American Express. The high volume of transactions by big box stores allows them to negotiate lower processing fees with American Express than the fees paid by small retailers.
Almost all big box stores accept American Express. However, the lower processing fees paid by big box stores does affect the benefits paid to American Express cardholders. For example, Walmart does accept American Express, but cardholders do not earn additional American Express rewards for supermarket purchases at Walmart.
Sam’s Club recently announced that they would start accepting American Express at all locations. Other big box retailers like Target, Home Depot and Lowes have been accepting American Express.
American Express is more likely to be accepted by a big box store than at a small mom and pop shop or a store that has a lot of low dollar value transactions like Subway. Costco used to only accept American Express, but will no longer accept American Express after March 31, 2016. No other big box stores have announced that they will discontinue accepting American Express.
Do you prefer American Express over other credit cards? Have you ever been to a big box store that did not accept American Express?