American Express is one of the world’s largest credit card payment networks, alongside Mastercard and Visa. However, while Amex is massive, its cards are not accepted everywhere. There may come a time—if there hasn’t already—that your Amex card gets declined when you swipe, insert or tap it at the checkout counter, but not because you’ve maxed out your credit line but rather because the business doesn’t take Amex.
While 66 million businesses around the world accept American Express—and that number has more than doubled since 2017—you can’t whip out your Amex just anywhere.
But why exactly isn’t it exhaustively accepted? And why would millions of credit card holders choose Amex if it’s not accepted everywhere? (Read: Unparalleled benefits.)