Betting Sites with American Express | Bookmakers that accept American Express
Last updated & tested: 2020-01-09
If you are an American Express user, we’ll give you a breakdown of the betting sites that accept American Express. Also, we’ll explain why the list of online bookmakers that accept American Express is a short one.
Key points about American Express and betting:
- 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 there aren’t many bookmakers that accept American Express, there are some alternatives for Amex users — for example, using your card as a payment method through third-party services.
- You may see that your attempted transactions are blocked on the 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
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 Cardholders get a free Pass Prestige membership at airports as well as getting access to Eurostar lounges in London, Paris, and Brussels. Gold members get two free lounge passes per year. This is one example of the rewards and points American Express members love. American Express cardholders spend four times more than Visa and MasterCard members.
So why all of this sounds great, why do so few bookmakers accept American Express?
There are a couple of reasons. 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 merely 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 critical.
Other reasons why American Express betting might be tricky
The other reason why there aren’t many online bookmakers with American Express has to do with the Amex 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. You might also find that some sports betting bonuses can’t be claimed with an American Express deposit.
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 also accept direct deposits from AmEx.
Online betting sites with American Express
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 American punters much more frequent it. Americans love it because players from all 50 US states are eligible. This needn’t concern you, but it speaks highly of BetOnline that not only are all American citizens who are available to punt able to punt but that they are one of the online betting sites that accept American Express.
One disadvantage is that the sportsbook focus is more towards the American markets, so you might need some of these betting tips and even this American football odds comparison to help you along. If you are interested in American professional sports league besides the typical football and horseracing that is 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 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 who 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 this is a bookmaker with 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 steps are being taken for your information to only stay in the relevant hands.
BetRebels forms part of Rebels Gaming Limited. BetRebels’s licence is issued by the corresponding authorities in Malta and has been in vigour since October of 2011. BetRebels highlights the American Express icon prominently on the footer of its website. As a relatively new player on the scene, there’s still plenty it could add to make its offering even more appealing, but accepting Amex is 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 has a deposit minimum of £5 (like on Paddy Power and Betfred) or £10 (this is the case on Coral, Ladbrokes, BetVictor, and William Hill). Once you sign up and fund your PayPal account by connecting to your American Express card, you 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 PayPal. 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 typically 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 workaround 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 to receive 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 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 high fees. If you can deal with them, then PaySafe is your most reliable last-resort loophole for Amex cardholders.
Lookout: Potential hurdles when trying to use Amex with online bookies
While online gambling in the US is mostly 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 are 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 high fees.
While using e-wallet services is an excellent way to work around it, some bookmakers don’t even allow that. 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 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.
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 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.