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Amazon to stop accepting Visa credit cards

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Written by: Emma Lunn
17/11/2021
In an email to customers, the online retailer said it planned to stop accepting payments made with UK-issued Visa credit cards in January 2022.

Amazon blamed the high cost of processing payments for the decision. Online card payments attract a range of fees including interchange fees and other transaction charges.

The email to Amazon customers said: “Starting 19 January 2022, we will unfortunately no longer accept Visa credit cards issued in the UK, due to the high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions.”

Amazon will continue to accept Visa debit cards and other credit cards, including Mastercard and American Express.

James Andrews, senior personal finance editor at money.co.uk, said: “Shops are entirely free to choose whichever payment method they want, but the news that Amazon plans to stop accepting Visa credit cards will come as a blow to the millions of Britons that have them.

“Notably, Barclaycard, HSBC and Vanquis all use Visa on their credit cards. With American Express also rejected by many UK retailers, that means people looking for rewards on their spending or trying to split the cost of shopping with a 0% purchase card on Amazon will be effectively forced to choose a Mastercard.

“Hopefully, Visa and Amazon work out their differences before the ban comes into force on January 19, but in the meantime it would be wise to check your cards now – and think about switching to a Mastercard if you have the option.

“The good news is that some of the best offers on the market at the moment come from Mastercard. With, unsurprisingly, Amazon’s own rewards card powered by Mastercard, as well as table topping offers from Sainsbury’s, Tesco and M&S.”

Gareth Shaw, Which? head of money said: “This announcement may come as a shock to some Amazon customers, but there have been long-standing concerns about soaring credit card fees that affect both consumers and businesses. Consumers used to paying with a Visa credit card should be aware that switching to a debit card would mean they lose some valuable legal protections that enable them to get their money back if anything goes wrong with a purchase.

“We would encourage Amazon and Visa to urgently find a resolution to prevent any restriction on consumer choice. Regulators should also look very closely at this development and work to establish whether fees in the credit card market are fair and what impact this will have on competition.”

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