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Got an American Express® card and looking for ways to send a payment to someone? Maybe you need to transfer money to a friend, or make an international payment in a foreign currency?
So, can you send money with American Express, and if so how? This guide walks through your options, and also looks at some alternatives which might help you save money, such as Wise.
If you have an American Express Serve card you may also be able to send payments to other Serve card holders, or via Amex’s partnership with Ria®.
It’s worth noting that while lots of other third party services also allow credit card payments, Amex network cards are often not supported. Visa® and Mastercard® credit cards are the more common options.
We’ll walk through a few alternatives to sending money with American Express later so you can weigh up your options.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
You’re a bit limited if you want to send an international payment with American Express — instead, consider sending your transfer with Wise.
Wise international transfers can be sent to bank accounts around the world, quickly and with low, transparent fees.
Just pay in your preferred currency by card (Visa or Mastercard), ACH or wire, and your funds are converted with the mid-market rate, and deposited to your recipient’s account with low fees from 0.41%¹.
|Here’s what you can expect from Wise:|
If you send payments overseas often, or need to get paid in foreign currencies yourself, you can also check out the multi-currency Wise Account which lets you hold and exchange 50+ currencies, and get paid from 30+ countries.
If you have a US basic American Express card you can enroll in Amex Send & Split®³ in the Amex app.
Once you have signed up, you’ll be able to link your PayPal and Venmo accounts, to use Amex Send to make payments to other Venmo or PayPal accounts.
You can also use Amex Split to have others send you money to be added as account statement credit⁴.
There’s no Amex fee to send money to Venmo or PayPal accounts. PayPal will assess a fee on your transfer if you’re sending to a PayPal account that’s based overseas.
PayPal’s international fees can be pretty steep, and include both transfer fees and currency conversion charges, so you’ll want to double check the details and compare your options before you confirm your transfer.
If you’re using the Amex Split feature, there’s no extra fee to pay, but any normal Amex fees such as interest or late payment penalties will still apply.
American Express Serve®⁵ offers reloadable prepaid debit cards which you can use to send money to other Serve cardholders.
You can also use the service to withdraw money to your own linked bank account⁶, and send payments to be collected in cash in the US via Ria⁷.
To send money with American Express Serve, you need to have an active Serve account and sufficient funds in your account⁸.
You can send money online or through the mobile app, and when sending payments to other Serve cards, the recipient will receive the funds instantly.
If you send a payment to someone who doesn’t already have an active Serve account they’ll be notified as asked to set up a Serve account to receive their money.
There’s not usually an Amex fee for sending to another Amex Serve card. However, if you’re using the Ria cash collection option, fees are applied as follows⁹:
- Sending up to 50 USD — fee of 4.99 USD
- Sending 50.01 USD to 1,000 USD — fee of 8.99 USD
- Sending 1,000.01 USD to 2,500 USD — fee of 16.99 USD
Using Amex to send your payment isn’t your only option. You might find an alternative service where you can pay with your Visa or Mastercard, by bank transfer or even with cash suits you better. Let’s look at a few alternatives to consider.
Payment options: Options include ACH, wire, Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card
Fees: Low fixed fees for local USD transfers which vary by transfer method, international transfer fees from 0.41%
Wise local and international transfers are arranged online or in-app, and deposited right into your recipient’s bank account for convenience.
For domestic transfers to the US there’s a low fixed fee depending on how you pay. Wise international transfers can be sent to 80+ countries with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees from 0.41%.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
Payment options: Options include bank transfer, Visa, Mastercard or Amex credit card, debit cards
Fees: 3% fee when using Visa or Mastercard credit card, no Venmo fees for other payment methods¹¹
Venmo®¹⁰ transfers can be made in USD, and funded through credit or debit card, including American Express.
You’ll be able to use the American Express Send service as we’ve already explored, or pick an alternative payment method and use Venmo through the Venmo app. Amex Send allows you to avoid the usual Venmo credit card fee.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
Payment options: Options include Visa or Mastercard debit cards¹³
Fees: No Zelle fees — your bank may impose their own charges
Zelle®¹² allows transfers from any US bank account to another US based bank account, often through your own bank or credit union’s online or mobile banking service.
If your bank doesn’t support Zelle you can also download the Zelle app to access the service directly.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
Payment options: Options include bank transfer, Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards, and cash¹⁵
Fees: Variable fees based on transfer type and destination
Western Union® transfers can be arranged online, in the Western Union app, or by visiting an agent location.
Send money locally or internationally, to be deposited to a bank account or collected in cash at an agent location close to your recipient.
Fees and available exchange rates vary depending on how you set up your transfer.
Payment options: Options include bank transfer, Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards, and cash¹⁷
Fees: Variable fees based on the transfer type
MoneyGram®¹⁶ payments can be sent from the US to 50 countries, with variable fees based on destination.
You can set up your transfer online or through the MoneyGram app — or visit an agent to pay in cash if you’d prefer.
Delivery methods vary and can include collecting the payment in cash from an agent, as well as bank deposits.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Not sure what's the best provider for your international money needs? Check out the comparison table below:|
Still not sure if sending money with American Express is right for you? Here are another few common questions and answers.
You can't usually use an Amex card to send a payment through Western Union. Western Union payments can usually be funded by options which include bank transfer, Visa, Discover® and Mastercard credit and debit cards, and cash.
You can send money with American Express Send to a PayPal account located overseas.
You may also be able to send an international Amex payment through a third party money transfer service, although many do not accept American Express cards as a payment method.
Check with your preferred provider to see if an Amex transfer is offered.
Sending money with Amex is safe as long as you use a reputable and trusted service, including Amex Serve or Amex Send.
Payments sent through American Express Send, or from one American Express Serve card to another are usually fast or instant.
Yes. You don’t need an Amex card to send money. You can send money to someone using a Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card, bank transfer or even by paying in cash.
Different money transfer services such as Wise and Western Union offer different payment methods, so you can shop around to find the one that suits you.
American Express has a couple of handy options for sending payments quickly. Most options to send money electronically in the US have no extra fees, but if you’re sending funds overseas you’ll find charges are applied.
For international transfers, you might get a better deal if you shop around and look at a few alternative services like Wise. Use this guide to start your research and find the best option for your specific payment.
- The speed of transaction claim depends on funds availability, approval by Wise's proprietary verification system and systems availability of our partners' banking system, and may not be available for all transactions
- Amex Send & Split
- Amex Send & Split FAQ
- American Express Serve
- Amex Serve Help
- Amex Serve Help — send with Ria
- Amex Serve Help — send to Serve
- Serve fees
- Venmo fees
- Zelle payment methods
- Western Union
- Western Union payment methods
- MoneyGram payment methods
Sources checked on 04.27.2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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