NEW YORK (NEWSnet/AP) — Online marketplace eBay said it plans to no longer accept American Express, citing what the company says are “unacceptably high fees.”

It’s a blow to American Express, whose customers are often the most attractive among merchants and spend the most money per month on their cards. 

“After careful consideration, eBay has decided to no longer accept American Express globally effective Aug. 17 due to the unacceptably high fees American Express charges for processing credit card transactions,” said eBay spokesman Scott Overland, in a statement.

Overland said that eBay customers have become aware of new ways to pay for items, making payments more competitive than ever before, and AmEx was no longer a necessary partner for eBay.

eBay has increasingly been offering customers buy now, pay later options on purchases through Apple Pay, PayPal and other companies like Klarna and Affirm as well.

“We know that the vast majority of eBay customers are willing to use alternative payment options to continue enjoying buying and selling on our marketplace,” Overland said.

Like other payment processors, AmEx takes a percentage of each transaction a merchant processes on their network. The fee varies by industry, and the fees that the largest merchants pay are typically a closely guarded trade secret.

The National Retail Federation says the average fee to accept a credit card is roughly 2% but can be as high as 4% on premium rewards credit cards like AmEx.

In a statement, American Express says that eBay’s cost to accept AmEx cards is “comparable to what eBay pays for similar cards on other networks” and that AmEx cardmembers typically spend double at eBay what is spent on other networks.

“We find eBay’s decision to drop American Express as a payment choice for consumers to be inconsistent with their stated desire to increase competition at the point of sale,” said Adam Isserlis, a spokesman for AmEx.

AmEx has been on an aggressive campaign, under its current CEO Steve Squeri, to be a more universally accepted payment option across all merchants in an effort to combat the negative image that AmEx is less accepted and only available for its cardmembers for travel, dining, high-end shops or in dense urban areas.

AmEx says its cards are now accepted at 99% of the places where Visa and Mastercard are accepted in the U.S., a metric it achieved in 2019.

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