American Express sets themselves apart from other card brands by offering a higher level of rewards to their cardholders. These premium card features mean higher interchange rates for merchants who accept them. Some merchants choose not to accept AmEx for this reason.
For merchants who do accept AmEx they must choose one of two programs available to them:
- Amex ESA
- AmEx merchant account is held with AmEx directly, so they provide the funding, billing, statements, etc.
- Funding is usually delayed since Fattmerchant must forward the batch to AmEx.
- Any merchant accepting more than $1 million (per Tax ID) annually in AmEx MUST use the ESA program.
- Amex Opt Blue
- Fattmerchant facilitates the program so they provide funding, billing, and pricing.
- AmEx charges are included in Fattmerchant statements and reporting.
- Fattmerchant can deposit AmEx transactions along with other card types.
- Merchants accepting over $1 million annually (AmEx only) are not eligible.