American Express challenge?

Old Sep 15, 19, 8:10 am
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American Express challenge?

How long could you go without using any payment method other than American Express?

Thinking about trying this for myself, would post the results if people are interested. Being in the UK would make it more interesting
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Old Sep 15, 19, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by YuMin View Post
How long could you go without using any payment method other than American Express?

Thinking about trying this for myself, would post the results if people are interested. Being in the UK would make it more interesting
Im also in the UK. The answer is indefinitely but youd be limited on your choice of retailers in some verticals.

All supermarkets, fuel stations, railway companies and major hotels accept it. That covers the vast majority of what most people spend their money on.

Acceptance in pubs and restaurants varies but most major chains - even cheaper ones like Wetherspoon - accept it.

Online shopping varies of course but its increasingly the case you can buy anything you want from Amazon.

My 2p.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by YuMin View Post
How long could you go without using any payment method other than American Express?

Thinking about trying this for myself, would post the results if people are interested. Being in the UK would make it more interesting
Two weeks. My barber does not take credit cards.....
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Old Sep 15, 19, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Charles4515 View Post
Two weeks. My barber does not take credit cards.....
Can you melt down the metal and see if they take that?
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Old Sep 15, 19, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by YuMin View Post
How long could you go without using any payment method other than American Express?
It depends on how much I wanted to change my life. I eat mostly at independent restaurants in the Rewards Network dining programs (United MileagePlus Dining, Delta SkyMiles Dining, AAdvantage Dining, etc). Even when the restaurant accepts Amex, in some cases Rewards Network does not gives miles for that restaurant if you use Amex. Since I eat such restaurants (where RN does not give miles for Amex) every couple weeks or so, I couldn't go longer, simply because I'm more interested in earning miles on the dine than in which card I pay with.

I have some monthly bills which are auto-billed to an MC which I've had for decades*. I'd have to check if those could all be changed to Amex, and if so change them, to not be using an MC every month. But just changing them would be a pain (that's why I set them up as auto-billed with a card I keep year after year). * Well, it's a Diners Club card which I've had for decades, and it wasn't an MC all of that time, but for a over a decade it has been. In the USA, Diners Club runs on the MC network.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
It depends on how much I wanted to change my life. I eat mostly at independent restaurants in the Rewards Network dining programs (United MileagePlus Dining, Delta SkyMiles Dining, AAdvantage Dining, etc). Even when the restaurant accepts Amex, in some cases Rewards Network does not gives miles for that restaurant if you use Amex. Since I eat such restaurants (where RN does not give miles for Amex) every couple weeks or so, I couldn't go longer, simply because I'm more interested in earning miles on the dine than in which card I pay with.

I have some monthly bills which are auto-billed to an MC which I've had for decades*. I'd have to check if those could all be changed to Amex, and if so change them, to not be using an MC every month. But just changing them would be a pain (that's why I set them up as auto-billed with a card I keep year after year). * Well, it's a Diners Club card which I've had for decades, and it wasn't an MC all of that time, but for a over a decade it has been. In the USA, Diners Club runs on the MC network.
Yeah, the OP asks how long could you go using AMEX exclusively - not how long you would want to go.

In my case, answering the question as phrased in the OP - basically, forever.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 8:17 am
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Try to do that in France and you'll have a hard time.
Even in Paris, only one in 10 restaurants accept Amex (stats based on personal experience)
Grocery shopping: apart from Carrefour an Monoprix, no one accespts Amex
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Old Sep 16, 19, 11:49 am
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In the USA, Costco's Amex was my primary card and I had to be at 99% or better success. There were a few small businesses that didn't take Amex. One of them was my favorite chinese takeout place, so maybe two weeks of exclusive use? It should be just as easy today with the proliferation of Square which doesn't discriminate against card type in processing fees.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:06 pm
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My really good beer store only takes visa/mc, so like 2 days.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Diplomatico View Post
Yeah, the OP asks how long could you go using AMEX exclusively - not how long you would want to go.
Except that such an interpretation on FT sounds silly. Look at this way: What if the question was: How long "could" you go without earning any more airline miles, hotel points, transferable points, or cash back rewards ever? By your standards, everyone would have to answer "forever" because it's easy to get credit cards that earn absolutely nothing, easy to book airline flights and hotels, etc, in such a way that you don't earn anything,,etc, etc. But what a totally useless thread such answers would make, no?
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Old Sep 16, 19, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Charles4515 View Post
Two weeks. My barber does not take credit cards.....
Until just over a year ago (when they went with PayRange), the washer and dryer in my apartment building did not take credit cards, which would have given approximately the same type of answer as yours if I had run across this thread then.

My landlord still does not take credit cards, so once a month even if I were to exclude all the things that Diplomatico says are "wants" not "coulds".

Now, of course, one could argue that this "too" is a fault of the phrasing of the OP's question. If the OP's question only meant "plastic" payment methods, or only meant payments at retail establishments, etc, that would be one thing, but the question as phrased say "any payment method", and by definition that includes both cash and checks and online payment transfers out of your checking/savings account.

How many people can really pay for every single thing in their lives with an Amex card? Their mortgage or rent? All of their insurances? Their car loan or lease? Every parking lot in the country? Every private reimbursement (cleaning people, babysitters, whoever)?

Originally Posted by Diplomatico View Post
In my case, answering the question as phrased in the OP - basically, forever.
So in your case, there's nothing ever you have to pay with either cash or check or a transfer from your banking account?
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