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Betting Sites That Accept American Express | Bookmaker Comparison

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While American Express is the largest credit and charge card provider in the world, we have barely covered it in our reviews of the best online bookmakers. This is because, even with AmEx’s power in numbers, it is difficult to use in the online betting industry. If you are an American Express user, we’ll give you a breakdown of the bookmakers that do actually let you directly accept American Express. Also, we’ll explain why the vast majority of the most reputed bookmakers do not accept American Express.

  • US legislation and characteristics of the American Express business model impact why this payment method is harder to come by on most reputed online bookmakers.
  • While many online bookmakers don’t accept Amex directly, there are some alternatives, for example using your card as a payment method through third-party services.
  • You may see that your attempted transactions are blocked on part of American Express; unfortunately, you are more likely to come across hiccups while trying to fund with AmEx than with other credit card providers.
  • Some recommend that you avoid AmEx entirely but we leave you to decide for yourselves.

Betting Sites That Accept American Express

BookmakerOur Test
Result
New Customer
Bonus
Test
review
Website
195 / 100£30 FreebetBetway review
294 / 100100% on first depositsBet365 review
392 / 100200% in free betsWilliam Hill review
491 / 100deposit bonus up to £100myBet review
591 / 100Bet £10 and Get £30betfair review
690 / 100No Bonus available.Pinnacle Sports review
790 / 100£20 bonus on signupSkybet review
890 / 100£30 Money BackUnibet review
989 / 100£30 in Free BetsPaddy Power review
1089 / 100£88 Freebet888 review
1189 / 100Stake £10 get £30betfred review
1288 / 100£30 in Free BetsBetVictor review
1388 / 10050£ FreebetLadbrokes review
1488 / 100100% on first depositsTipico review
1587 / 100deposit bonus up to €150Sportingbet review
1687 / 100100% up to 20£ free betStan James review
1787 / 100Up to £10 on first depositSmarkets review
1887 / 100100% up to £10 free betYouwin review
1986 / 100up to €50 bonusbwin review
2086 / 100100% up to £45 bonusBetsson review
2185 / 100deposit bonus up to €100Interwetten review
2285 / 10050% sign-up bonusDafabet review
2385 / 100Bet £5 get £20Coral review
2484 / 100£20 on first depositBetStars review
2582 / 10050% matched bonusTonyBet review
2682 / 100up to £25 free bet188Bet review
2782 / 10050% on first depositsNetBet review
2881 / 100Get £25 in free betsBetdaq review
2981 / 100Bet £10 Get £20Boylesports review
3080 / 100100% matched bonusLuxbet review
3177 / 100100€ Cash-Back BonusBetClic review
3277 / 100Bet £10 get £20Betsafe review
3376 / 100Bet £5 Get £20Betbright review
3475 / 100100% on first depositsTitanbet review
3573 / 100Up to €50 on first depositSuperLenny review
3672 / 10050% up to £20010Bet review
3771 / 10050% up to £50RaceBets review
3870 / 100deposit bonus up to €77Expekt review

A brief overview of American Express

American Express is best known for its charge cards and credit cards. There are 117.8 million cards in service, making it the largest card provider in the world. They’re also known for providing travel-related services. Amex members can also earn rewards points with numerous partners. British Amex Platinum Card holders get a free Pass Prestige membership at airports as well as getting access to Eurostar lounges in London, Paris, and Brussels. Gold members get 2 free lounge passes per year. This is one example of the rewards and points American Express members love as they spend. In fact, American Express cardholders spend four times more than Visa and Mastercard members.

So why all of this sounds great, why do so few online bookmakers accept American Express?

There are a couple of reasons really. As the name implies, American Express is an American company. It’s illegal to fund online gambling in the United States, and therefore American Express is incredibly vigilant about transactions on online bookmakers. While this should not affect you as a customer in the United Kingdom, there have been users who have seen transactions blocked by the credit card company. They are simply trying to make sure that they follow the legislation in the country in which they are registered. In light of this, you’re likely to see some hiccups when trying to use Amex even on the sites where it is an accepted payment method. Patience, in this case, is key.

That’s not all.

The other reason why many online bookmakers don’t accept American Express, and this has to do with the overall business model. American Express charges higher merchant fees than other credit card companies. A merchant fee is what a business has to pay to the credit card company for that payment method to be accepted, whether it be in a brick-and-mortar shop or online. American Express’s merchant fees depend on the type of business but the rates are higher than MasterCard and Visa.

While American Express is working towards simplifying this scheme to get more merchants to accept them, it is seen as disadvantageous for bookmakers. Since many of the online bookmakers offer free deposits and withdrawals, the higher merchant fees from Amex would imply a less sustainable business model. And even the bookies that charge more regular fees won’t even accept direct deposits from AmEx.

Bookies that do accept American Express

BetOnline:

BetOnline’s been operating since 1991, while its online presence has been up and running since 2004. Licenced in Panama, BetOnline may not be as well-known in the British market because it’s much more frequented by American punters. Americans love it because players from all 50 US states are eligible. This obviously needn’t concern you but it speaks highly of BetOnline that not only are all American citizens who are eligible to punt able to punt but that they accept American Express too.

One disadvantage is that the sportsbook focus is clearly more towards the American markets. If you are interested in American professional sports league besides the typical football and horseracing that are much more ubiquitous on our side of the pond, you’ll be able to rest easy and enjoy BetOnline’s reputation as one of the most legitimate bookmakers open to American customers. On BetOnline, the minimum deposit you need to make with your AmEx card is $50, while your maximum is $2,500 per transaction.

Intertops:

Intertops is another one of those online bookmakers that’s not necessarily part of the typical British bookmaking industry. Intertops is, in fact, another online bookie which is causing a stir over in North America.

While it may not have the brand cache of William Hill or Ladbrokes, Intertops was the first to accept an online sports bet. Over the past few years, according to their web page, Intertops notes a $500,000,000 investment in getting customers from all over the planet onto their site. They boast one of the lowest minimum bets out there and aim to be a home for all types of punters. While they do accept American Express, their maximum deposit is pretty low, as it is $500 for all credit cards.

Additionally, you have to fill out and sign a Credit Card Authorisation Form before you can receive your first payout. There is also a Credit Card Payment Form that you need to fill out to get money into your account. While it could be perceived as a nuisance, the purpose of these measures is to make sure all of the necessary measures are being taken for your information to only stay in the relevant hands.

BetRebels:

BetRebels forms part of Rebels Gaming Limited. BetRebels’s licence is issued by the corresponding authorities in Malta and has been in vigor since October of 2011. BetRebels highlights the American Express icon prominently on the footer of its website. As a fairly new player on the scene, there’s still plenty it could add to make its offering even more appealing, but accepting Amex is definitely a step in the right direction. A single deposit is capped at a maximum €5,000 for all credit cards, and should you wish to deposit more, BetRebels encourages you to perform multiple transactions to deposit more in one go.

Using third party services as a loophole

As you’ve seen, there are very few online bookmakers that accept American Express directly. If AmEx is the only credit card you have in your wallet, don’t give up just yet since there are, in fact, some ways you can get around it.

One way to do it is to hook up your AmEx card to an e-wallet like PayPal or Skrill. Most of our top bookmakers here on OpenOdds accept PayPal, and either have a deposit minimum of £5 (like on Paddy Power and Betfred) or £10 (this is the case on Bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes, BetVictor, and William Hill). Once you sign up and fund your PayPal account by connecting to your American Express card, you just have to go through the general procedures to conduct a transaction with PayPal.

Skrill is often seen as more advantageous because it seems to not only be more widely-accepted on online bookmakers but also has lower deposit minimums than with PayPals. Bet365, BetVictor, and Betfair have £5 deposit minimums on Skrill, which is certainly a perk. While e-wallets generally don’t charge you for deposits and withdrawals, a lot of the extra perks that normally come with AmEx transactions won’t apply when using PayPal or Skrill (like cash-back, bonuses, or any other rewards associated with your tier of AmEx).

Another potential work-around would be using cash voucher services like the PaySafe card. The advantage of this is that you top up either online, on mobile, or in any of the valid PaySafe points of sale, and then you make deposits just using the pin. But PaySafe doesn’t support withdrawals, so you’d have to receive all of your pay-outs using your bank account and receiving wire transfers. If you don’t mind doing that, then this is another way to work around it.

PaySafe is accepted by many of the most reputable bookmakers in the country. This includes our personal favourite, Bet365, as well as William Hill, Ladbrokes, Betfair, Racebets, 888sport, Mr. Green, BetVictor, Paddy Power and Betway. This should give you peace of mind that you won’t be without options should you use PaySafe and get paid out through your bank account. Nonetheless, there’s a major caveat with this strategy; the transactions will show up as cash and therefore incur really high fees. If you can deal with them, then PaySafe is your most reliable last-resort loophole for Amex cardholders.

Look out: Potential hurdles when trying to use Amex with online bookies

While online gambling in the US is essentially legal, as a British citizen, it’s legal for you to use a British American Express credit card to fund your online betting account. In spite of that, American Express may still find a reason to block these transactions. The typical justifications you’ll find will claim that there is a risk or fraud and other excuses along those lines. While we know that all of the bookies we analyse and recommend on OpenOdds are full of safety mechanisms and security measures, this is their prerogative. When the transactions ARE permitted however, they’ll be listed on your statement as cash and, as a consequence, there will be really high fees.

While using e-wallet services is a good way to work around it, there are some bookmakers that don’t even allow that. One example is SkyBet. In their Terms and Conditions, it is clearly stipulated that it is prohibited to use your AmEx card on PayPal and then fund your SkyBet account using that PayPal account. The key, in this case, is to check with the third-party payment services, whether it be Neteller, Skrill, or PayPal, the bookmaker you’re looking to tether, and with American Express to ensure that you don’t go through the run-around to have your transactions declined.

You also need to be up-to-date on which bookies actually accept AmEx since the accepted payment methods do tend to change pretty frequently. Many experts say that AmEx is not the ideal payment method and if you can use another it is more highly recommended. We ultimately leave the decision to you, but if you have a Visa or MasterCard your online betting experience is likely to be far more hassle-free.

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Conclusion

While there’s nothing in British law that makes funding your online bookmaking ventures with American Express legal, as we’ve laid out for you in this article, this is not as much of a walk-in-a-park as with its competitors Visa and Mastercard. The bookies that accept American Express are few and far-between, but they do in fact exist.

Keep in mind that there are ways to deposit into your online betting accounts without having your transactions blocked by Amex using intermediaries like e-wallets or PaySafe. Remember, whenever you’re in doubt, you should check with the e-wallet provider (so if you’re trying via PayPal, then you would consult with PayPal; same goes with Skrill), AmEx, and the bookie to make sure that the transaction won’t be blocked on either end. Remember, AmEx’s high scrutiny on online betting makes it more difficult, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, then you can.