Why accept American Express?
The biggest reason for accepting Amex is perhaps the fact that people spend on average 50% more with this credit card than with other credit cards. Not strange considering the card is marketed to more affluent consumers than the average Visa/Mastercard user, so you can expect that money is less of an issue for an Amex user.
Add to that all the travel points, cashback and other rewards – plus refund/purchase protection – that American Express provides to their users, and you have a credit card favoured by many with the money to spend.
Now think of the customer who wanted to spend £500 on that jacket, only to lose the sale when your answer is “sorry, we don’t accept Amex” when they flash their card. Customers can be picky with how they pay, so the disappointment of a “no” can be the end of that relationship.
In the grand scheme of things, paying a 3.5% transaction fee and interchange fees on a big sale is still better for your profit margins compared to losing that sale (and possibly the customer). Even if you’re paying 1.5% and no interchange fees for Visa transactions, you can’t always persuade someone to choose Visa.