Do you take American Express Credit Cards?

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Proud Texan's picture
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Yes, without question.
39% (12 votes)
Yes, but prefer Visa, Mastercard or Discover
13% (4 votes)
No. Their rates are much too high.
48% (15 votes)
Total votes: 31
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I'm still looking into and learning all I can about opening a B and B. I spoke with an owner near me about 'square' and he said they only allow you to charge up to $1200 a month. He went with another company. Is this true? I sure hope to make more than $1200 a month. LOL

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Dcalfee wrote:

I'm still looking into and learning all I can about opening a B and B. I spoke with an owner near me about 'square' and he said they only allow you to charge up to $1200 a month. He went with another company. Is this true? I sure hope to make more than $1200 a month. LOL

I think he is inncorrect on that.  I just started using it and I have charged over $2000 a day on it with no problems.  I'm using the free card reader that plugs into the iphone.  I also key in some small deposit transactions without the card present and have had no problem with those.  I know somewhere it is stated that For keyed-in card payments, we will deposit up to $2,002 per 7-day period but swiped amounts are unlimited.  I believe you can contact square to up your limit for the keyed transactions if you need to.

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Square has been mentioned in several threads of late, just do a forum search on it. 

Silverspoon's picture
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 I didn't vote. We don't take credit cards of any type.  No problems, no fees.  Our business has not suffered, or at least we have all the business we can handle.  Being small has some advantages...we would have to take plastic if we had a bigger inn but having just 3 accommodations definitely simplifies the accounting.

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The fun never ends...I just got another charge for taking an Amex payment July 16th, (it showed July 19th) and hit today in our bank account, which is AUG 6.  

The rate charged was 4% (this is not including any of the other fees I had to pay on the cc machine)

I started Square on July 17th.  

Payments are processed and in the account within 24 hours.

The end amount, you don't get a deposit, then weeks later get a "Amex discount" which is what shows in my bank account as their charge/fee/percent. In this instance, the charge using Square at 2.75% is $10 less, that is TEN BUCKS I GET TO KEEP vs using the merchant account and Amex.  Even swiping the same exact card!

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

The fun never ends...I just got another charge for taking an Amex payment July 16th, (it showed July 19th) and hit today in our bank account, which is AUG 6.  

The rate charged was 4% (this is not including any of the other fees I had to pay on the cc machine)

I started Square on July 17th.  

Payments are processed and in the account within 24 hours.

The end amount, you don't get a deposit, then weeks later get a "Amex discount" which is what shows in my bank account as their charge/fee/percent. In this instance, the charge using Square at 2.75% is $10 less, that is TEN BUCKS I GET TO KEEP vs using the merchant account and Amex.  Even swiping the same exact card!

I never understood the use of 'discount' in dealing with processing CC payments.

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I just started using Square August 1!  I have found that the card reader does not always want to read the card.  I know it has to be swiped perfectly for it to go through.  Anyone else having that issue?  Sometimes it will go through on the first try and other times I have to swipe it 4 or 5 times.  Other than that I think I will like this.

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Barry_Manilow wrote:

I just started using Square August 1!  I have found that the card reader does not always want to read the card.  I know it has to be swiped perfectly for it to go through.  Anyone else having that issue?  Sometimes it will go through on the first try and other times I have to swipe it 4 or 5 times.  Other than that I think I will like this.

Nope, other than swipe it fast.  What are you using it on? A phone or pad? I found on the iPad if I hold it horizontal I can swipe it faster, if I delay then it needs another swipe. You just need to get the hang of it I think, sometimes I am talking to guests as I do it and then realize I didn't do it fast enough.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Nope, other than swipe it fast.  What are you using it on? A phone or pad? I found on the iPad if I hold it horizontal I can swipe it faster, if I delay then it needs another swipe. You just need to get the hang of it I think, sometimes I am talking to guests as I do it and then realize I didn't do it fast enough.

[/quote]

Right now I am using the iphone and I am just typing in the amount I want to charge and swiping it.  I think I will try it on the ipad too!  I think it will be easier for the customer to sign on the ipad rather than on the iphone.  Yes, I think it is just getting the hang of it.

YellowSocks's picture
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05/22/2008

I just started less than a year ago when I had a customer who that was all he had. But I'd been thinking about getting it anyway and that was the impetus. I still don't take Discover, and every customer with Discover has always had one of the other three.  I'd say the vast majority of my customers are still MC and VISA, only a handful use AE.

As far as discounts or rates or all that... I thought of it as one less obstacle to their staying here instead of a hotel.

=)
Kk.

Joey Camb's picture
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we take amex but only get maybe 1 a month if that so not excessively expensive. The reason why I do is this - booking came through on la terooms as amex and we had just got a new machine and it didn't take amex yet - card on the booking was amex - chap who came was a chauffer from a firm ferrying some very rich people round the country - he stayed in the cheap places and they stayed in the most expensive and it all was to be charged to this card from the company - so was in a super bind and it would be fricking 9pm at night so no help from the card machine company. After a bit of a hoo harr (he was a nice chap) he decided to pay for himself and then try and get it back from his employer but that was the last straw.

Trouble is with late rooms and bo oking.com they both send through amex card whether you take them or not and its a pain to chase up a different card if it comes to it.

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Generic's picture
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 K... ever taken an Amex Chip card? Has it worked for you? I have one, but it doesn't seem to function on anyone's machines, yet. Says to swipe instead.

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Joey Camb's picture
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yup in the uk everything is chip and pin unless the card doesn't have a chip it aways asks. May be a machine thing rather than a card thing?

Generic's picture
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Could very well be. Amex was the last to issue cards. I guess I will have to ask the processor.

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Same rates for amex and discover now that I use square. finally! I used to have plentyof amex here (and refused to accept discover!)

Skamokawa's picture
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We do now that we're using Square.  All rates the same.

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Proud Texan's picture
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Skamokawa wrote:

We do now that we're using Square.  All rates the same.

For the rates to be the same, does that mean you pay a lower rate for AMEX now or do you pay a higher rate for everything else?

 

Skamokawa's picture
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On Square we can take MC/Visa/Amex/Disc.  They're all 2.75% off the top.  All the same.  No statement fees, no mystery fees.  Predictable and easy.

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Proud Texan wrote:

Skamokawa wrote:

We do now that we're using Square.  All rates the same.

For the rates to be the same, does that mean you pay a lower rate for AMEX now or do you pay a higher rate for everything else?

 

allow me to reply 2.75% on all cards, via swipe.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Be prepared for AmEx user to also want a discount. They never think about us having to pay the processing charges.

PT, because you're in the same type of area I'm in, which is rural and no business guests, I really don't think you need to take AmEx. We stopped taking them at least 9 years ago and it didn't hurt us a bit. If it's a phone reservation and they ask about AmEx they have always had another card to put it on. No big deal. If I were in a city and had business guests, I would take it, but otherwise, save your money, it's not worth it.

Proud Texan's picture
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We have never accepted American Express because of their ridiculously high rates. However, I was reading a blog about this very subject that made a possibly valid point: If we, as small businesses, are willing to discount rooms on a regular basis to get heads in beds, then does it make sense to NOT take AMEX? Yes, we would pay higher rates, but doesn't that equate to discounting a room?

Most every guest who has attempted to pay with an AMEX card, when told we don't accept them, seem to always have a VISA and MasterCard at the ready. So, I really am having a tough time wrapping my head around accepting the AMEX card. I may have lost business because of this through online reservations, but I will never know.

Do any of you take AMEX? What percentage of your room sales would you say or on AMEX? 

Madeleine's picture
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As for the % they charge? It's one percent higher than V & MC. Call them and negotiate the rate. Yes, it is a big chunk of change over the course of the year.

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Madeleine's picture
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I think I calculated this last week when we were discussing it... 20-30%? Around there anyway. Discover is the one we don't like. And yet, the other day I pulled the tape from the previous day and there was a D card listed. It's so hard to get good employees these days.

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