Credit cards are a popular form of payment at many South African online casinos. But not all card brands are alike in this regard. You are almost certain to find VISA and Mastercard available at all online casinos. But some other credit cards are less common – American Express is one of those.
If you are an American Express card user, this is probably not new to you. It is not just online casinos that don’t accept these cards. AMEX cards are not accepted at many retail stores and other eCommerce websites.
Online casino gaming is all about convenience – you should have the freedom to pay using a credit card you own. But unfortunately, if you are an AMEX card user, your online casino South Africa options are quite few and far between.
On this page, we keep an updated list of the best Amex online casinos for South African players. We also tell you why one of the biggest credit card companies in the world is so unpopular at a majority of online casinos and other eCommerce websites in 2022.
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Everything You Need to Know About American Express
American Express is one of the most valuable companies in the global financial services business. It was started way back in 1850 as a mail delivery service. The company soon expanded into financial services and has not looked back.
The company’s blue color scheme and famous logo – a Centurion/Gladiator – is instantly recognizable. There are around 114 million AMEX cards currently in use around the globe, with 55 million in the United States alone.
Among card companies and financial service firms, American Express is widely considered an industry leader. It has the best security features available – you can safely use AMEX cards for online purchases at many reputed stores.
Unfortunately, AMEX cards are not a popular option for a majority of online casino operators. This may seem quite unusual, given the size of the company and the number of AMEX customers out there. But ultimately, it all boils down to money.
Here is the main reason why many small/medium-sized casinos and other retailers don’t support AMEX cards – the processing charges. With other cards from VISA/MasterCard, casinos have to pay between 1.5% and 2.5% as processing fees.
AMEX charges a higher rate – usually 2.5% – 3.5% – but it can also go as high as 5%. An increase of 1% – 2.5% may not seem like much at first glance. But for smaller casinos in the highly competitive online gaming business, it can still make a huge impact on their profit margin.
A lot also depends on your target market. In the United States, AMEX cards are used for nearly a quarter of all card transactions. Casinos accepting US players are more likely to have the AMEX logo on their banking pages as they cannot afford to lose out on so many customers.
In other global markets, things are quite different. VISA/MasterCard usually has more customers in places like South Africa. Only the biggest casinos have the financial power to pay the AMEX charges without worrying too much about profit loss.
Getting an AMEX Card in South Africa
The good news here is that South Africa is a market where American Express has a strong presence. Nedbank is the local banking partner for AMEX cards. If you have an account at this bank, you can consider applying for a credit card at the bank. Or you can apply directly at AMEX South Africa.
AMEX cards work the same as other credit/debit cards. To get one, you need a bank account and a decent credit score. As long as you are an adult above 18, with a stable income and other ID documents, you have a decent chance of getting an AMEX card!
Making an Online Casino Deposit With AMEX
Using an AMEX card to make an online casino deposit is quite easy. You can do it from a PC or any mobile device – the best South African online casinos support all devices. The entire process takes only a few minutes:
- Keep your AMEX card nearby. It could be a debit card or credit card – there are several types of American Express cards available to South African customers. You can find more details here.
- Visit the online casino and log in/register. Go to the Cashier/Deposit section.
- Select AMEX from the list of available deposit options. Look for the distinctive AMEX logo.
- Enter your card details. Fill all required boxes with accurate information about your AMEX card.
- Select the deposit amount. At most online casinos, a minimum deposit of $10 – $25 is required (or it’s equivalent in ZAR). Check the casino banking terms for details before depositing.
- Your payment processor will send a confirmation message to your phone within a few minutes. The money will arrive quickly into your casino account.
- You can now claim bonuses and start playing real money casino games!
Online Casino Withdrawals to AMEX Cards
If you use an AMEX card for deposits, the casino will usually insist that you use the same card for withdrawals as well. This is a common rule for all casino payment methods. So if a casino allows AMEX deposits, chances are high that you can also make withdrawals of your casino winnings to the same card. The steps are quite simple:
- Sign in to your casino account and head to the Cashier/Withdrawal sections.
- Select AMEX from the list of eligible methods.
- Enter the amount you want to withdraw. All casinos have withdrawal minimum and maximum limits, ranging from $20 to $100,000. Check the terms and conditions before making any withdrawal attempts.
- Finish the withdrawal request and wait for a few days. Online card transactions can take anywhere from 3-5 days in total. This includes the time taken by a casino to process your request (between 24-72 hours).
- After due processing, the money will reach your bank account. You are now free to withdraw and spend it as you please.
AMEX Card Online Casino Pros & Cons
As might be abundantly clear by now, AMEX cards do have a significant disadvantage if you are an online casino player in South Africa. Here are some of the other advantages and disadvantages of AMEX cards:
- Best in class security
- Excellent loyalty program
- Prestigious card
- User-friendly mobile app
- Fast transactions
- Not available at many SA casinos
- May have high eligibility requirements
- Slow casino withdrawals (5 days)
Our Verdict: Why Use AMEX at SA Online Casinos?
From an online casino player’s perspective, AMEX cards are a mixed bag. Yes, the card has amazing rewards and great prestige/brand value associated with it. You can also get one in South Africa with Nedbank. But very few online casinos accept AMEX cards.
You will have much better luck with VISA/Mastercard if you want to try a bunch of different online casinos. It is an excellent choice if you are the kind of player who likes to stick with an online casino for a long time. South African Casinos that support AMEX tend to be highly reputed and safe.
AMEX Cards Online Casino FAQ
Yes, some online casinos do accept AMEX cards for deposits and withdrawals. But they tend to be a minority, outside the US online gambling market.
In terms of safety and quality of service, AMEX is certainly one of the best in the business. And we can recommend it as an online casino payment method, no question about that. The real problem is in finding a casino that accepts SA payments through AMEX – such sites are in the minority.
VISA and Mastercard are the main alternatives to AMEX. They only hold one big advantage over American Express cards – availability at almost 99% of online casino sites. In all other aspects like safety, rewards, ease of use, etc, the card brands are comparable.
AMEX is a global brand, but its main core of customers are in the US. And it also has higher processing charges than VISA/Mastercard. Since there are legal restrictions on online casino gambling in the US, many casinos don’t bother to provide AMEX cards. Casinos that serve US players often have AMEX as an option. But others are put off by the steep charges.
Deposits using AMEX cards result in the instant transfer of funds to your casino account. This does not incur any extra fees. Withdrawals are quite slow, taking up to 5 days. If you want faster withdrawals, you might want to try other payment methods like eWallets or Bitcoin.
No, all charges on transactions involving AMEX are borne by the casino. High processing charges are the main reason why many casinos don’t use AMEX payments. While you will be required to pay annual card fees, AMEX does not charge for individual payments or withdrawals.