American Express Reducing Payment Processing Fees in Canada

American Express Canada (AMEX) has been known to charge high payment processing fees, which discourages many businesses from accepting AMEX cards as a payment option. This may change as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has agreed on a deal with payment processing firm Chase Merchant Services that will reduce the fee.

Note that there are several conditions for the business to qualify for this reduction in fees, so it is not system-wide just yet. The conditions include:

  • Businesses who process less than $500,000 AMEX transactions per year
  • CFIB members
  • Using the Chase Merchant Services network

Depending on the member, they can receive up the 50% reduction. It may be worth noting that there are 110,000 CFIB members who collectively process over $12 billion a year. So whether this will translate to more businesses accepting American Express as a method of payment, remains to be seen. But this is definitely a step in the right direction!


  1. I hope American express advertise this, because 100% sure the small Chinese owned stores will be clueless.

    1. Good point! Doing my best here to spread the word here!

      I suspect, and expect that Chase will send a letter to all its clients to promote the new fees. Part of it will depend on whether businesses will read the mail I guess.

      1. It would be stup*d not to take advantage of this offer, especially small eateries. The new amex cobalt card will help with the independently own restaurants, 5x the points will be a huge selling point for people wants to eat where amex are accepted.

  2. It’s great to see Chase engaged in the marketplace with relevant players (CFIB). The more competition the better for us consumers. I was worried that Chase might be exiting the Canadian picture with the shutdown of the Amazon and Marriott cards. Hopefully, this is the first sign of their next round of offerings.

    ***One less barrier (albeit small) for a Delta SkyMiles Amex arrival in Canada. Fingers crossed!***

    1. This is Chase Paymentech (merchant services) not Chase Bank (credit cards) which sold their consumer portfolio to Scotiabank. Don’t expect any new consumer offerings credit card wise from Chase anywhere in the near future. Sorry to break the news…

  3. Does the small business need to do anything to take advantage of this or it will automatically apply to business that qualifies?

  4. In my experience, I find that many restaurants will take Amex, despite not realizing ( or admitting ) that they take Amex.

    I often just try using it even when I don’t see an Amex sign and even small Asian cafés seem to take it.

  5. I’m more annoyed by complete and utter obliviousness by those same merchants when that cheap-looking President’s Choice Master Card has even higher fees… I understand how Amex has high fees, but in current marketplace with MC World Elite and Visa Infinite Privilege too much of this is simple prejudice that Amex is “expensive”. It no longer is, and business are not paying attention when they should be.

  6. This is good news for merchants using the Chase Merchant Services network. It would be nice if the deal was extended to all payment processing vendors. I find it interesting that Chase signed this deal with the CFIB since Chase no longer offers credit cards in Canada and Chase is the biggest competitor to AMEX in the USA.

    I would definitely use AMEX more if they were excepted at more merchants in Canada (ex. Loblaws, Costco, my oil company, my insurance company, my dentist, and numerous independent businesses).

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