The Centurion at the Gates: How To Gamble With Your American Express
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Founded in 1850, American Express has grown to become one of the true giants of the payments world. Popular the world over, but particularly in the US, it’s a popular option for players looking to deposit funds into their online gambling account. Trusted as a quick, safe way to transact, it’s becoming ever more popular for those playing at online and mobile casinos, thanks to the lack of fees involved.
Best American Express Casinos
For consumers, American Express is a fast, flexible way to do business. While it has not quite reached the same levels of popularity as VISA and MasterCard, it is still widely supported by merchants online and offline - and online casinos are no exception. It’s a handy card to have in your wallet anyway for general purchases, but it is particularly useful if you’re looking for a reliable, secure way to handle your casino purchases and withdrawals.
Depositing and withdrawing through American Express is easy, and you won’t find any problems using it to fund your accounts. But what are the pros and cons of American Express versus other payment methods, and should you be fishing out your Centurion card to make your first deposit?
Why American Express?
American Express has a number of advantages that make it particularly suitable for funding your casino account.
Convenience: When you’re dealing with an American Express deposit, there’s no faffing around with eWallets, and no additional steps to pre-fund your account to get started. Instead, it’s simply a case of pulling out your card, entering the numbers, and getting started. In this respect, American Express is just as convenient as any other credit card for making your deposits or withdrawals.
Fast transfers: When you send money to or from your American Express, the transactions are processed virtually instantly. That means that in effect, your transfers are as fast as possible, so you can cut straight to the chase with your gaming. You won’t be waiting around for hours for your balance to update with American Express.
Security & trust: Two of the most important factors for making any kind of payment online, security and trust are at the forefront of the American Express offering. As a huge financial services company, you’d expect them to have strong security measures in place to prevent fraud and theft, and you would be correct. American Express has stood the test of time, and today stands as one of the most secure methods you can use for transacting online.
Larger Credit Limits: When compared to other credit cards, what you tend to find is that American Express cards carry a larger comparable credit limit. This means more flexibility for you to fund your gambling in the first instance when you play by American Express.
The American Express Story
American Express was founded back in 1850, originally as an express mail courier business. It wasn’t until 1882 that the company pivoted into financial services, in what would become a defining move for the company over the century to come.
Having merged with several other US financial services companies and banks of the day, American Express started to expand its reach nationwide, striking up partnerships with other companies involved in mail distribution, transport and financial services across the US. It’s first venture in the world of finance was money orders, a product designed to compete with the US Post Office, which had pioneered a similar method of transferring money, in what can be classed as a forerunner to the modern cheque.
After traveling through Europe in the late 1880s, an American Express executive was dismayed to find it difficult to obtain local finance on the strength of his letters of credits. On his return, American Express began exploring new mechanisms for allowing creditworthy travellers to have access to their funds overseas.
Travellers Cheques became the solution, and were one of the earliest landmark American Express products that developed the brand globally. A virtually instant success, these were to dominate the financial side of the Amex business over the remainder of the 19th century.
It was until the 1950s and early 1960s that American Express set about trying to become one of the world’s leading card companies. After noticing the emerging popularity of other charge card and credit card products, American Express moved into the space, in part to compensate for their declining rail and distribution businesses.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Today, American Express stands as a massive corporation, with over $30 billion in revenue annually, thanks in no small part to its significant card empire. While not yet as widely accepted as MasterCard and VISA worldwide, it accounts for over a quarter of all card transactions in the US, and remains a major payment method in much of the developed world.
As far as online is concerned, American Express is no less ubiquitous. As a result, even American Express holders looking to find a casino to accept their deposits will find no shortage of options online.
Different Levels of American Express Card
There are multiple levels of American Express Card available, all designed to reflect the differing financial needs of their customers. From the lowest level card, the Basic, customers can build their way up to much more exclusive cards, right up to the Centurion - Amex’s card for VIPs and high rollers. There are income thresholds on each of the levels, and each comes with its own tailored fees structure, credit lines and other perks.
For casino gambling, it doesn’t make too much difference to the casino whether you’re playing with a Basic or a Centurion. However, from your own point of view, the higher up the Amex pyramid you climb, the better the rewards for you, in terms of cashback, extended credit and low fees - not to mention the other perks.
American Express Cards vs. Other Payment Methods
American Express can be thought of in much the same way as VISA and MasterCard, and for all practical purposes, that’s as true when you’re depositing and withdrawing from your online casino account as it is when you’re paying for a meal at your favourite restaurant.
The complications begin when it comes time to find somewhere that will accept your card, and that’s for deposits, let alone withdrawals. There are only a fraction of the casinos out there that accept VISA and MasterCard that will also entertain American Express customers, and that’s just a product of supply and demand. Market forces dictate that it’s often more expensive for casinos to handle transactions through American Express, which means either they refuse to do it, or they charge you fees for the privilege.
If you can get around this stumbling block, American Express is actually a very good payment method to use. Fortunately, there are many casinos that will accept American Express deposits, and some that will also allow withdrawals to the same card - you just need to be more careful than usual when choosing where to play.
So Can I Use American Express At Any Casino?
Definitely not. American Express isn’t VISA or MasterCard, but it’s probably number 3 in the world. So while you can expect to find VISA everywhere, and MasterCard almost everywhere, American Express is slightly less common amongst online casinos.
Does that mean you’ll have a hard job finding somewhere to take your American Express deposit? Almost certainly not. In fact, while not every casino is set up to handle Amex, you’ll find a plethora of options ahead of you if you do decide to proceed with this payment method.
US American Express Casinos
As a predominantly US card issuer, you’d expect US-friendly casinos to be largely receptive to American Express. This is indeed the case, and there are a number of casinos out there that will happily accept American Express deposits from US players.
- Sloto Cash Casino
- BetOnline Casino
- WinWard Casino
- Fair Go Casino
- Black Diamond Casino
Microgaming American Express Casinos
Some players prefer to stick to what they know, especially when that means fantastic quality games and out-of-this-world jackpots. Step forward Microgaming, the web’s leading developer of online slots and other games for casinos. Microgaming casinos tend to be more friendly towards American Express than average, and there are plenty to choose from, including:
- All Jackpots
- All You Bet Casino
- Planet Casino
- Golden Euro Casino
- Wild Vegas Casino
- Slots Capital Casino
- 7Spins Casino
NetEnt Casinos Accepting American Express
NetEnt are another of the world’s leading slots developers, as well as providing games and systems to some of the world’s leading online casinos. For fans of slots, NetEnt has a particular reputation that puts them head and shoulders above the field. Check out the following NetEnt casinos that open their arms to American Express players:
Live Casinos Accepting American Express
Live casinos are where the action is at for online players who prefer that offline, realfeel casino experience. Instead of playing against a videogame version of your chosen casino classic, you instead play with a real human dealer, linked up via a live streaming webcam. You can often even interact with the dealer and other players as the game unfolds, giving you an unparalleled offline experience with all the home comforts of playing online.
American Express players can access the following live casinos, which will be more than happy to facilitate them as customers:
- Royal Vegas
Mobile Casinos Accepting American Express
Mobile casinos are one of the fastest growth areas for the remote gambling industry, as more and more players make the move from their desktop to mobile devices. Often, the selection of games on mobile isn’t quite as strong as on the web version, but this is getting better every day, as casinos invest increasingly heavily in supporting their mobile platforms.
We recommend any of the following mobile casinos which accept American Express deposits and withdrawals.
- Royal Panda
- Grosvenor Casino
How to use American Express cards to load a casino account?
When you’re depositing money into your casino account through American Express, the process is largely indistinguishable from topping up an account with VISA or MasterCard. The only difference is that you need to firstly make sure your casino supports American Express payments before signing up.
Step 1: Find an American Express casino. We’ve got that one covered for you. Check out our recommendations of the best places to play with an American Express card, and find the right casino for your gaming.
Step 2: Check Out the Bonuses. Different casinos offer different sizes and shapes of bonus offers, particularly around the first few deposits. Ideally, you want to get maximum bonuses for creating an account, and often that will shape how much you will want to deposit. Read up on the different bonuses available at your chosen Amex casino first, so you can best decide how to proceed.
Step 3: Choose Your Deposit Amount. After finding out the bonus terms, you can decide how much, if any, of the first deposit bonus you want to trigger. This is usually matched to the size of your first deposit, so if you want lots of bonus, you’re going to have to up the deposit amount.
Step 4, Enter Your Card Details And Amount. In the age-old way of buying something online, insert all the relevant details for your American Express card when prompted, starting with the long card number on the front.
Step 5. Viola! It’s Time to Start Gambling. Once you’ve entered your details, it’s time to process the transaction. With any luck...success! And you can get down to gambling instantly, with your new bankroll. It really is as simple as that.
Can I withdraw my winnings with American Express?
This one is a little trickier. In theory, there’s nothing to stop you being able to withdraw your winnings to American Express, in the same way as VISA players can withdraw back to their payment cards. However, in practice, you’ll find that many casinos just won’t offer this facility.
This can feel a little restrictive if you’re affected by it, but the easiest solution is just to withdraw to your bank account. Or, if you need your money more quickly than that, any other eWallet that is supported by your casino will allow you to withdraw your money over a shorter processing and payment time.
Are there any casinos that offer bonuses when I deposit with American Express?
Casinos will be all too happy to pay bonuses on your American Express deposits, particularly when these are the first deposits made to your account. Be sure to check the terms of bonus offers up front to figure out whether you are eligible and how you should size your deposits for maximum advantage. Or you can always check out our recommendations on this page, to find the best casino bonuses for your American Express deposit.
Do I have to pay any fees when using at the casino?
This is another yes and no, complicated answer. In general, there are no fees charged for deposits, but you may encounter some exceptions to the rule. Sometimes, you’ll also have to pay fees on a withdrawal to your American Express too, where permitted, so it’s important to weigh these up in your budgeting. Nevertheless, the fees aren’t exactly going to break the bank - especially if you get lucky and land a progressive jackpot or something.
Disadvantages of American Express
Of course, no payment method is perfect. American Express does have some limitations that you need to be mindful of when using it to gamble online.
There Are Some Fees: Yep, the F-word...Fees. You’ll probably need to pay a processing fee on your deposit and perhaps also your withdrawal, depending on the specific terms of the casino you’ve chosen. That’s because American Express isn’t VISA or MasterCard, essentially, and therefore you can’t leverage the same economies of scale that come from payment processing on either of those infrastructures. Not the end of the world, but expect to pay some fees when moving your money via American Express.
Few Casinos Allow Withdrawals: Even many casinos that accept deposits through American Express will be reluctant to pay out withdrawals through the same channel. In many cases, this will mean that American Express can only be used as a payment card, and you’ll need to hook up a bank account or some other alternative method for receiving your withdrawals. This doesn’t apply to every case, but be sure to bear this in mind.
Less Common Than VISA and MasterCard: Even at its most basic level, you’ll find that not as many online casinos accept Amex as do VISA and MasterCard. That’s just the way of the world unfortunately, and applies equally to casinos as it does to offline merchants. It shouldn’t be a problem, given the sheer range of great casinos that do accept Amex, but it’s another one to beware of as you choose how to proceed.
American Express Payment Summary
American Express isn’t the most flexible payment method in the world of online gambling, but it’s got enough going for it to make it a workable solution. It’s fast, secure and a good way to manage your bankroll. Plus, depending on your card, you can also take advantage of cashback and other perks and promotions which wouldn’t be available to you through other means of payment.
The only real hurdles you have to cross are getting your card accepted in the first place, and finding a workable model for withdrawals, if your casino doesn’t support American Express withdrawals already. While there are some applicable fees, the benefits of playing by American Express generally outweigh any of the more modest downsides, making it a great way to fund your online gambling.