The Difference between American Express and Other Cards

As a business owner, you have many decisions to make and one of them is what credit cards you’ll accept. You may have noticed many small businesses accept everything except American Express.

While American Express offers great rewards and perks for its customers, it offers higher fees to business owners. Their rates are 2-3.5% versus 1-2% with other cards or even less with debit cards. While that may not seem like much of a difference, it adds up fast and when your margins are sensitive, you feel it. Many business owners risk the inconvenience of not accepting a fraction of their customers’ cards than accept it and pay a high price.

American Express works on a different business model than Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. They are a closed loop network where they issue cards directly to the card holders and merchant accounts directly to businesses. Because they do not have to answer to another financial institution, they can set their discount rates to what they want. While most credit cards make profit off of interest, American Express uses annual fees to card holders and higher swipe fees to merchants. They can so they will.

They also require businesses to undergo another application process before accepting their card. One more thing you’ll have to do.

There’s not much inconvenience to customers as many American Express cardholders carry more than one card because not everyone accepts American Express.

You know your business and what’s best for you. You’ll make the right decision.


Live Your Values and Find Your Tribe

You got into business to help people, but how do you find the right people? By being your true self and living what is important to you, like giving to charity at every opportunity.

People like buying from people who go above and beyond. Think about it: if two vendors offer identical products, but one gives to charity, you’d go with that vendor. Customers are fascinated to learn every time they use their credit card a portion of the fee is donated to a charity of the owner’s choice. It says a lot about you, the owner, that you’re prioritizing this value. Customers feel involved; by buying, they’re also donating and helping.

It’s a free perk. You don’t have to do anything more, they don’t have to do anything more, everyone feels good about their decisions. Imagine the customer telling their friends about you, “Not only do they offer this great service, they donate to charity automatically.” Likes associate with likes. People want to be a part of that team.

Let them be a part of something greater. They are a part of the flow from merchant, to buyer, to GIVIA, to the people receiving the help. You wouldn’t have a fee to donate if they had not bought your product or service.

You’re helping yourself find your tribe, people with similar values and together you can lift each other up. By being true to yourself, doing what you know is right, you are attracting the best people to you.