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Ebay Kicks American Express as Payment Option, Citing High Fees

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Brett Holzhauer
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Brett Holzhauer

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Brett is a personal finance and travel junkie. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, he's had over 100 credit cards and earned millions of credit card rewards.
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Ebay is removing American Express as a payment option for customers. The company said in a June 5, 2024, statement that “unacceptably high fees” were the reason for booting the card network off the platform, beginning August 17. This is reminiscent of the Costco and American Express¹ separation in 2016, which also occurred due to cost.

Ebay and Amex both don’t seem too worried about the decision. The online marketplace stated, “The vast majority of eBay customers are willing to use alternative payment options to continue enjoying buying and selling on our marketplace.” On the other hand, American Express noted that eBay purchases are less than 0.2% of its total volume of purchases. It seems like a small disappointment from both ends, but this is another storyline in a long tale of credit card issuers taking jabs from politicians and businesses.

As a consumer, here’s what you need to know, and which non-Amex credit cards could suit you if you enjoy shopping on eBay.

Card Issuers Are Paying the Price as They Thrive

Credit cards have become consumer’s preferred way to make purchases, and hold the lion’s share of preference according to a 2022 survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

However, this doesn’t come without consequences as consumers currently hold over $1 trillion in credit card debt. Moreover, the total credit card debt is rising the fastest it has in 20 years. Card issuers are making record profits on those debts, but are also experiencing higher-than-normal losses as cardholders aren’t paying their debts on time — with delinquencies at their highest since 2011.

To fight back, the Biden administration attempted to take a swing at issuers by significantly reducing credit card late fees to $8. This decision was temporarily frozen with an injunction by a federal judge in May 2024. Additionally, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) proposed the Credit Card Competition Act in 2023, which aims to give consumers more choice on which credit card processing network they want to use when making purchases. Detractors of the bill argue that this could theoretically eliminate credit card rewards programs.

What Shoppers Should Do if Their Card Issuer Is Eliminated

If you’re an avid shopper who uses credit cards to earn rewards, you may come across news from time to time that forces you to adjust your strategy. It’s part of the game, and it can sometimes even be a good thing. As new cards come along, and even life events, you can be forced to pivot how you approach earning rewards. And that’s okay.

Here’s what to keep in mind if a retailer you shop with doesn’t accept your preferred card:

Look at Other Cards in Your Wallet

If you aren’t keen on opening another card to shop with your preferred retailer, that’s okay. You may find another credit or debit card in your wallet that does the job.

Consider Grabbing a New Card

When Costco booted Amex in 2016, I immediately jumped onto the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi to earn cash-back on my purchases.

In the case of eBay, it already has the eBay Mastercard, so it won’t be switching issuers. But if you regularly shop on eBay, you may consider a new credit card to maximize your rewards. For example, if you’re using the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express on eBay, you could switch to the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card for cash rewards or the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card for valuable Capital One miles.

There’s Always a Workaround

One of my favorite sayings in life is, “Show me a 10-foot wall, and I’ll show you a 12-foot ladder.” There’s almost always a way around hurdles, and this one is no different.

You can visit your local grocery store and likely find an eBay gift card in the gift card section. This can be purchased with an American Express credit card. However, you won’t have the same protections you would by buying directly with a credit card.

Final Thoughts

As credit card issuers continue to receive pushback from the government and businesses, we could see more decisions like eBay’s removal of American Express as a payment option. As consumers and credit card enthusiasts, it’s advantageous to regularly review your expenses and the card(s) you use to ensure you’re earning the most rewards possible.

In the meantime, you have roughly 70 days to use your American Express card to make eBay purchases before you’re forced to use a Visa or Mastercard.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 
The information regarding the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.

Brett Holzhauer's image

About Brett Holzhauer

Brett is a personal finance and travel junkie. Based out of Fort Lauderdale, he’s had over 100 credit cards and earned millions of credit card rewards. He learned the tricks of the trade from his mom, and has taken many steps forward. He wasn’t exposed to much travel as a kid, but now has a goal of reaching 100 countries in his life. In 2019, he sold all of his possessions to become a digital nomad, and he says it was one of the best decisions he ever made. He plans to do it again at some point in his life.

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