Steve M: Bank Debit cards (No Visa or MC affiliatoin) are accepted everywhere in Canada via the "interac" network.
If I am traveling outside of Canada, cash and/or traveler's cheques with my Amex do the trick.
Amex was my very first credit/ charge card. I have cancelled my Amex before but now I find myself using it as my preferred card as I think the Canadian Amex Plat. card offers the best value out off all Canadian credit/ charge cards!
Location: I have embarrasingly little status but my wife thinks I am great
Amex has done a great job getting more acceptance in the UK (even converted M&S last year).
In contrast to above posts one rule of thumb I use when holidaying in France or Italy when I am looking for a good but not luxury meal is to avoid any restaurant or area of restaurants where Amex or DC are accepted. These tend to be tourist traps and I prefer to go to places where they look at you strangely if you produce the Green Card. The food and service is more authentic.
Don't partake of a level of service for which you cannot to afford to pay cash.
Location: TAS - somewhere I can't use my FF status and points very well.
Programs: AA PLT & LTG, DL DIA & LTS, Marriott PLT & LTG
Originally Posted by bchl
the acceptance in Taiwan is horrible. only at upscale places. Very good acceptance in Hong Kong as well China, at least there where credit cards are accepted.
Can't say I agree. HK might have good acceptance but I live in Shanghai, one of the largest cities in the world (ie fairly modern), next door to a Louis V store (ie in an upscale area) and AMEX is accepted practically nowhere.
I've lived here a year and the only two places that have accepted it are a major grocery store chain and a place that sells steaks for 150 USD each.
just came back from london and paris and I saw about 50 % rates for obtaining dinning but regular shopping throughout the day mostly amex was taken. EVerytime I used the Amex there was a look like you have that card.
I'm headed to Barcelona and a Mediteranian cruise with 8 ports of call including Monaco, Marseilles, major ports in Italy, Sicily, and Majorca. I'm hoping to use AMEX as often as possible and keeping a few hundred Euros handily replenished if needed. If anyone has experienced problems using Amex here please let me know.
Amex still has lower acceptance in the Europe than say Visa or Mastercard, particularly in Germany where the debit card remains preferred over credit cards in many establishments. However in other countries the acceptance improves significantly, in Switzerland for example I have been able to use it in most establishments. I would say that ignoring Germany you should be able to use it 80-90% of the time, in Germany its far less probably max 50%. In general through hotels will accept the card, as will most restaurants but retailers may be more picky.
The only thing I would watch though is the FOREX conversion rate which is worse on Amex than on any of my other cards. While Europe is mainly in Euros some countries are still using their own currency e.g. the UK, Switzerland and Denmark etc.
Amex is as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard in Korea. I have yet to see a single place where Visa / MC is accepted but not Amex.
That's very good to know, because I plan on traveling there with the wife in a few months. We're planning on staying mostly in Inchon (her family), Seoul, Daejon (my family), and Jeju. So you think we should be ok?
I'm just back from a week in Barcelona and a bunch of small villages around Granada/Andalucia and I was pleasantly surprised at how often I was able to use my Amex. It was accepted more often than not. No trouble with the lack of Chip & PIN either (although I had a Chip & PIN visa as a backup).
In Budapest, we went to a almost high-end "Michelin-star recommended" restaurant, and they wouldn't take Amex, only VISA or Mastercard. I always travel with two no-forex-fee cards for these situations.
The high-end "Michelin-star rated" restaurant, however, did take Amex.