Why you should be accepting American Express at your marina

Many of the marinas we talk to aren't accepting American Express as a payment option. Why is this and is it hurting your business?

Editor's Note: We don't have stock in American Express and this isn't an advertisement for them.


The most common reason we hear is that it is too costly. Marina managers are telling us they pay higher fees for transactions with American Express (Amex) cards and it cuts into their revenues. Mathematically speaking, this is true. Amex charges a higher fee than other card brands.

We've also heard that some marinas maintain two separate credit card terminals with two separate merchant accounts just to be able to accept Amex. This obviously isn't an ideal solution.

Most think that the answer is to not accept American Express to help maintain revenue. But is this really working out?

What's it doing to my business?

Not accepting American Express (Amex) could actually hurt your revenues and your customer satisfaction. Here are some reasons why.

Amex cardmembers spend more than others.

Data from The Nilson Report in 2003 showed that Amex customers spent $9,600 annually, while Visa customers spent $2,700 and MasterCard customers spent only $1,900. *Source*

Amex accounts for 35% of all restaurant, travel, and tourism charges in the US.

In 2013, there was roughly 4 trillion in credit card spending in the US. *Source.* That's 1.4 trillion dollars in Amex transactions for the above businesses. Think about how much potential revenue you could be missing out on.

Accepting Amex can bring you more customers.

Research in the UK in 2011 revealed a few important statistics about American Express cardmembers. *Source*

  • 52% of cardmembers actively look out for American Express signs before going to the merchant either by calling ahead or looking at catalogues or website[s].
  • 46% are more likely to try a new merchant when they see the American Express logo.
  • 65% would choose a merchant that accepts American Express over one that doesn't.

What to do?

If you currently don't accept American Express, reconsider. It could mean additional customers and additional revenue.

Molo provides simple marina management tools for your iPad and web browser and we include low fixed credit card processing rates and automatic billing for your seasonal customers.

Molo Payment Processing Features
  • Swiped card payments for fuel are 1.75% + 15¢ and swiped payments for marina services are 2.25% + 15¢. Never pay extra for rewards cards or American Express.
  • If you choose to bill your seasonal customers from their checking or savings account, you'll save more than 70% over credit card fees.
  • Bank account transactions are only 0.75% + 50¢.
  • With Molo, there are no extra fees or surcharges.
Find out what Molo can do for your marina at: www.getmolo.com

Lucas Isola

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