American Express (AMEX) and Paypal Explained IMPORTANT

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Hi Guys. I had received my AMEX Card recently and went to register it with PayPal.

However I was advised by my sister to enquire about charges related to using this card with my PayPal account.

I then tried to search for different experiences by different people and didn't find anything concrete on the matter.

I did discover that when we purchase something on EBay UK in GBP, AMEX convert this payment into US Dollars and then reconvert it back to GBP. (Why on earth?!!!)

PayPal on the other hand allow for us to choose between AMEX or themselves at the time of payment to be in charge of the conversion.

They (PayPal) said to me upon contacting them that whilst they tell us the conversion figure before the transaction takes place, the card issuer doesn't (that's their argument).

This very unusual and incomprehensible method would make us pay more than what we originally had to by winning the auction.

So I decided to contact AMEX Customer Services in order to clarify this issue.

Below is a transcript of my conversation by email with AMEX (from bottom to top):

Response (Simon Wild) 21/10/2009 01.33 PM

Dear Mr XXXXX,

Thank you for your reply regarding charges for using PayPal.

I can confirm that you will not pay anything extra for purchasing an item via PayPal, as long as the merchant is asking for payment in Pounds Sterling. Any difference caused by the conversion of Sterling amounts will be refunded by us.

If you buy something from PayPal in a foreign currency (i.e. Dollars) you will have a commission charge of 2.99% of the purchase amount added to the transaction.

I hope this has answered your question.

Should you have any other queries for us about this or other matters please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call our Customer Services Department 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01273 620555 and we will be happy to be of assistance.
Kind regards,
Simon Wild

Eservicing, American Express

Customer (Floss) 21/10/2009 12.03 AM

Dear Amex,

Many Thanks for your prompt reply.

Just so I am sure of what you have advised:

No matter what currency conversions are made by yourselves, I will only pay the original amount I was intended to pay (before conversion) in GBP, after you have made the necessary adjustments, am I right?

Lastly, what if I purchase something from EBay US for example where the transaction is done in US Dollars?

I Thanks You in advance

Kind Regards

================== Original Message == == == == == == == == == == == == ==


Discussion Thread

Response (A.Birchall) -- 20/10/2009 02.24 PM

Dear Mr XXXXX,

Thank you for your e-mail enquiring what currency your PayPal charges will be billed

I am sorry for any confusion regarding the processing of a PayPal transaction. If you purchase something that is priced in Pound Stirling, the charge will be converted in Dollars and then back into Stirling, and if the converted amount is different to the original Stirling figure, an adjustment amount will automatically be applied. The overall result will be that you will only be charged for the original Stirling amount.

Do you know how to make the most out of being an American Express Card member?

You can enrol for Paperless Statements, which is a free, secure and efficient way to receive your statements, and also helps with the environment. If you would like to enrol, please access your Account Summary
page, and click on statement delivery options, and follow the quick enrolment procedure.

Once again, I do apologise for this type of process, however, I trust I have resolved your enquiry.

Kind Regards,
Alan Birchall

Customer (Floss) -- 20/10/2009 08.18 AM

Dear Amex,

I buy many collector games from EBay and have come across some reading that if I am to use your card with my PayPal account I will be charged in US Dollars even though I am UK based and am purchasing in the UK. Can you confirm this?

Also upon reconverting the money back to GBP I would end up paying more that I should. Really?

Please clarify the above.

Kind Regards


End of Transcript


It seems that we are being misinformed when PayPal tell us that it’s better to let them do this currency conversion since we aware from the start of the conversion figure (Yeah right!).

Upon contacting American Express it is clear that all purchases we make (GBP Sterling) will be charged at the original amount and any extra charge that will appear by means of currency conversion will be refunded to us.

The only charges that we incur would involve purchases outside of the UK in different currencies which is standard with all credit card providers.

Now that this matter is clarified, it would be appropriate that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US should log in to our PayPal account and make our AMEX card primary.

This way we will be hammering PayPal with charges (I think AMEX charge 5% for their card whilst other Credit Card issuers charge 2% or even less).

By doing so, we can have a little bit of revenge with PayPal since I am certain we ALL have had issues with them in the past.

After all we are UK based which means we can’t sue them for millions as they would in the US so we probably get walked over all the time!

Since we can’t sue them for millions in a court of law we will just make sure they have to pay millions in Credit Card charges instead!

I hope this guide has removed any doubts anyone might have about the subject in question and hopefully it will be of use for those of us who are not aware of the above information.

Kind Regards



EBay ID: 313floss