The Merchant Processing Guru Tip#8: What about American Express & Discover? Most credit card processing companies today can process all of the important card types like Discover and American Express. Discover now is part of MasterCard for the most part and you will be able to accept Discover automatically and without an additional setup fee with a new merchant account.
American Express however is still independent. Should you decide to accept AMEX cards the processor acts basically as just a pass-through for AMEX. This means that even though it will be set up for you through the Processor you will be paid directly from AMEX for all of your AMEX transactions. It can take anywhere from 3-5 business days for those transactions from AMEX to clear your account.
AMEX sets their own rates at their sole discretion and those rates cannot be marked up by the processor. The processor can however take a transaction fee for processing each AMEX transaction, which is typically 20-25 cents.
It is possible in some cases to be charged a flat fee of $5.95 per month from AMEX if you process less than $5,000.00 in a 12 month period. This is a good option for many merchants wishing to try out AMEX for the first time, but beware, if your volume exceeds $4,999.00 in any consecutive 12 month period AMEX will adjust for the difference.
To find out what AMEX rates are in your industry type and how you can tap into the American Express card holder market, contact me at: [email protected]