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eBay to stop accepting American Express in August – be careful if you're planning to use PayPal as a workaround

Online marketplace eBay has announced it will stop accepting American Express ('Amex') cards as a direct payment method from 17 August 2024. You'll still be able to use your Amex on eBay by going through PayPal – but be wary of doing this with large purchases, as you may lose valuable Section 75 protection.

We explain what you need to know below. To find out how to spot bargains on eBay, see our 40 eBay and second-hand buying tips. You can also check out our tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Amex card.

You'll still be able to use Amex on eBay by checking out with PayPal – but doing this could mean you lose valuable extra protection

While eBay will no longer take Amex as a direct payment method, its relationship with PayPal isn't changing – which means you'll still be able to use your Amex to pay for eBay purchases by selecting the PayPal option at the checkout.

But BEWARE of doing this with larger purchases, as it could mean you lose out on the valuable legal protection you get under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Section 75 states that if you pay for something costing over £100 and less than £30,000 on a credit card, the card company is jointly liable with the seller if something goes wrong.

Crucially, for a purchase to be covered by Section 75, there has to be a direct link between you, the credit card issuer, and the place you bought it from – and, in some cases, using PayPal can break this link. The exact rules are complex – see our PayPal & credit cards guide for more info.

Once the change kicks in, consider paying for big eBay purchases directly with a different credit card

While PayPal does have its own protection scheme, this isn't as strong as the legal protection from Section 75. So if you're buying an item costing over £100 on eBay after it's stopped accepting Amex, consider using an alternative credit card, if you have one.

eBay will continue to accept Mastercard and Visa credit cards after 17 August 2024 – and using these would get you the Section 75 protection when paying directly (in other words, not through PayPal). Note that debit cards AREN'T covered by Section 75, though you do have some Chargeback rights which could still help you get your money back if something goes wrong.

If the item costs less than £100, you wouldn't be covered under Section 75 anyway, so it doesn't make a difference whether you pay directly or through PayPal.

What do eBay and Amex say?

eBay said it was making the change due to "the unacceptably high fees American Express charges for processing credit card transactions".

Amex said it was "disappointed" by eBay's decision, adding that the move would "limit customers’ payment choices" and "take away the service, security, and rewards that customers value when paying with American Express".

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