The American Express card is not accepted everywhere because of the high fees that merchants must pay when it’s used. Merchants don’t want to pay the extra amount, so they refuse to accept credit cards for purchases under a certain amount. The ratio of what the merchant pays versus what you will be reimbursed by your credit card issuer varies depending on the type of card you have.
The more your American Express credit card is charged, the higher the fees that merchants must pay to process those transactions. In turn, this results in some businesses refusing to accept American Express altogether as a form of payment. This means some places won’t take your AmEx even if it would be easier for them to do so, especially since most businesses these days accept credit cards.
American Express has a strong focus on direct marketing. They do not need to advertise much because they sell their product by focusing on their existing card members. If you are already a card member, you might use your American Express more often than other cards even if it is hard to find places that accept it. You will, most likely, continue to use your American Express because of all the rewards you receive when you spend money using this card.
Some businesses refuse credit cards if transactions are less than a certain amount. AmEx is often left out of the transaction process because they do not allow merchants to charge any fees in transactions that are less than a certain amount. This makes the issuer choose another provider that will allow this, or to lose out on sales all together.
They have expensive rates when it comes to processing credit cards in comparison to Visa and MasterCard. American Express is known for being an exclusive card with high annual fees. Merchants feel they cannot afford the extra premium they must pay to accept American Express.
They are not widely accepted outside of America. The location where you live may affect the amount of places that will take your credit card, or even if they will allow it at all. If you travel internationally for business or pleasure, it is important to know your card if very little to no places will accept it. You should carry cash and know where the closest ATM is to avoid getting stuck without any money at all.