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Nick J

American Express Cards

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Has anyone used their Am Ex at French petrol stations?

Thanks 

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I don't know but the link below may help. It's a translation from  French.

 

Amex for fuel in France

 

It may be advisable to check if an  Amex sign is displayed and use a manned service station .

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I can't afford an American Express card, but have had my UK bank refuse to allow my debit and credit cards to be used in unmanned French fuel stations.

Why? Because unlike the UK stations that take a nominal £1 to prove the validity before dispensing, the French ones (some of them anyway) take as much as £300!

The difference is refunded, but my bank doesn't want me to run the risk.

 

So I only use manned stations.

4 minutes ago, beejay said:

I don't know but the link below may help. It's a translation from  French.

 

Amex for fuel in France

 

It may be advisable to check if an  Amex sign is displayed and use a manned service station .

The link won't open on my pc.

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Whether Amex is accepted is always unpredictable, but a Nationwide credit card and  Halifax Clarity credit card both work at unmanned petrol stations without problems, so I would advise you to take something besides  Amex just in case.  

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It's a company credit (fuel) card. .. 

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Try it and see, but have some back up Visa and Master credit cards as well.  

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41 minutes ago, daveat92 said:

I can't afford an American Express card, but have had my UK bank refuse to allow my debit and credit cards to be used in unmanned French fuel stations.

Why? Because unlike the UK stations that take a nominal £1 to prove the validity before dispensing, the French ones (some of them anyway) take as much as £300!

The difference is refunded, but my bank doesn't want me to run the risk.

 

So I only use manned stations.

The link won't open on my pc.

 

Sorry about the link. Try again and wait for it to open. ........        Amex

 

Pre-authorisation is quite normal and, for fuel,  is normally limited to the maximum the pump will dispense usually 99 litres i. e. around €125/£110.   

 

Your nominal £1 is changing.   Read here Pre-auth changes

Edited by beejay
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Thank's beejay. ..

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35 minutes ago, beejay said:

 

Sorry about the link. Try again and wait for it to open. ........        Amex

 

Pre-authorisation is quite normal and, for fuel,  is normally limited to the maximum the pump will dispense usually 99 litres i. e. around €125/£110.   

 

Your nominal £1 is changing.   Read here Pre-auth changes

Oh.

Well even £100 is better than £300!

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I don't think the filling station actually takes any money from your account per se - they just ask for it to be authorised at which point your bank or credit card company in effect reduces your credit limit or your bank balance availability by £99 or however much the authorisation requests. That limit should then be automatically be restored when the associated payment request arrives and the correct amount is paid out, but as ever is the case with British banks often the twain ne'er meet!

I've been using a Nationwide Gold Visa card in Europe for the better part of two decades and I have never once had any issues of this type.

To the OP, make sure it is not just a fuel card managed by Amex as distinct from a formal Amex chargecard. If it is a managed card it is almost certain you will not be able to use it outside the UK and Eire.

PS Don't put the initials for credit card as the system will assume you mean Caravan Club and change it to CMC when you post the contribution - as I just found out.

Edited by Woodentop

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The problem has only occurred in UNmanned stations.

Those with a cashier don't use the pre-authorisation system.

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17 hours ago, daveat92 said:

I can't afford an American Express card, but have had my UK bank refuse to allow my debit and credit cards to be used in unmanned French fuel stations.

Why? Because unlike the UK stations that take a nominal £1 to prove the validity before dispensing, the French ones (some of them anyway) take as much as £300!

The difference is refunded, but my bank doesn't want me to run the risk.

 

So I only use manned stations.

The link won't open on my pc.

They will only refuse use if the balance in your account, or your available credit limit, is lower than the maximum amount which might be taken. ........... so when on holiday keep your balance topped up,  and be aware of your credit limit and you'll never have a problem.

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I have an AMEX card as a personal credit card purely for the cash-back initiative but to be honest with so many places refusing to accept it, its benefit is sailing close to the annual subscription charge and I will look around for something better.

 

When I was last in France, the main manned service stations on the toll motorways wouldn't accept it (one was Shell from memory) and I had to use my business Visa card to pay for fuel (one attendant actually threw it across the counter at me and shouted "Non!!!").

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22 hours ago, daveat92 said:

The problem has only occurred in UNmanned stations.

Those with a cashier don't use the pre-authorisation system.

 

 

The problem can only occur with pay-at-the-pump! :rolleyes:  - which are often found in a manned service station

 

And manned stations can ask for the card to be checked before fuelling.   Rare but not unknown .

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The same sort of pre-authorisation occurs in most hotels and car hire companies. As said it's an authorisation, not a valid transaction and depending on the system may only be a cursory check that the card hasn't been reported as lost or stolen. It may pass through the merchant acquirer and on to the card issuer, at which point it will check credit availability and reserve the amount on the account. If the eventual actual transaction doesn't match the authorisation amount then the issuers system might not tie the two together and both the actual transaction and the authorisation will reduce the cardholder's available credit, until the unfulfilled authorisation ages off.

 

This is one reason that card issuers don't like pre-auth, because it can generate issues if their cardholder then has their card rejected for going over limit. The pre-auth system was sort of snuck in by merchants like hotels and car hire as they saw it as a way of increasing their security of payment. Eventually it became so established that the card companies had to formalised it but you can see how it can still generate probs.

 

SDA (21 years in payment cards - retired senior manager Streamline Merchant Services and Area Manager Access - The Joint Credit Card Co Ltd - an original flexible friend)

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