It’s important to realize that you’re not going to have the quantity of sites to choose from than if you were to use a different kind of credit card.
Then, from the options you do have, you’ll want to find the absolute best site. This site will have the best games or betting opportunities for the type of gambling you want to do.
You can find this site on your own, but we think a more efficient way to do things is to use our recommendations above. We vetted each one to ensure that they not only accept Amex for payments but that they’re also a good option for sports bettors and casino, poker, and bingo players.
That said, if you’re looking for something specific, it might make sense to visit our review section. That way, you can find a specific kind of offer, poker game, sports market, or anything else you’re looking for. Otherwise, you can join any one of the sites listed above, and we’re confident that you’ll be happy.
If you want to learn more about how we came up with these recommendations, then we suggest you read the following section where we describe our process in more detail.
About These Sites
Something that’s important for us to get across to you is that our recommendations above aren’t picked at random. They’re not influenced by outside opinions, favors, or even money.
Every gambling website we recommend is listed above only because they deserve to be. They’re better than all the other sites we reviewed for this category.
The most important area each site excels in is safety and security. If they failed in this area, they would be ineligible for our Seal of Approval, which is our guarantee that they’re safe to join. Only sites that have our Seal of Approval can be recommended on pages like this one.
This means that each site must meet the following (minimum) requirements.
Each site has a current license
A license means the operator paid their fees, applied for a license, and was deemed worthy by the gambling commission
They have player-friendly terms and conditions
This means they don’t go out of their way to make their bonuses hard to clear, your money difficult to withdraw, or charge you ridiculous fees for your account being dormant
Every site must treat their customers fairly
They’re not ripping them off, changing their terms on the fly, slow- or no-paying them, or other shenanigans
The games must be fair (random)
If the casino’s games are fixed or if they ripped them off, there’s no way we can recommend them in good faith
If we review a gambling site, and they fail in any of these areas, there’s no way we’ll recommend them. We just wouldn’t be able to guarantee your safety.
However, if they do tick all these boxes, then it’s possible that we’ll give them our Seal of Approval. But only if they’re strong in the following areas.
They offer several types of gambling
The more types, the better, but only if they offer a variety of games, betting opportunities, or traffic to host a poker game
You can claim a variety of promotions
We like to see a deposit bonus at a bare minimum. Then we’d also like to see free bets and spins, a cashback program, rebates, and more, depending on the types of gambling they offer
Each gambling site accepts American Express
Not only that, but they also have reasonable fees and limits
You can contact customer support using different options
The options we like to see include email, telephone, and/or live chat. It’s also important to us that each site responds quickly to support requests and actually helps you when you need it
Their site, games, sportsbook, and/or poker room are mobile friendly
You should be able to play their games from your phone or tablet without bugs or a lack of features or games
We’ll take the best-of-the-best gambling websites and compare them. The ones that are not only safe but also tick all or most of the boxes above will receive our Seal of Approval. Then we’ll recommend them to our readers.
Once we know which sites we want to recommend, we’ll rank them according to their strengths and weaknesses. The best sites will be at the top. The worst sites will be at the bottom.
However, don’t think that because a site is the worst of the bunch, they’re not worth joining. That’s not true at all. If they’re worthy of our Seal of Approval, thus worthy of being recommended to our readers, then they’re worthy of your time, attention, and money.
And that’s how we do things here. We take several hours to research and test every site to collect the information above. It nearly all comes from first-hand experience. Our reviews and ratings are based on our first-hand experience, too.
That’s how you know you can trust our information. Our information and rankings are not bought and paid for. They’re collected by our reviewers and are ranked based on our experience and how strong they are relative to the other sites on our list. We also rereview sites often and update our reviews and rankings when necessary.
How many gambling review sites do you think can say the same?
The Biggest Challenges Amex Users Face
Every banking method has its pros and cons. There’s not really a best or worst but rather what will work best for you or what you’re willing to put up with.
American Express is no exception. In fact, Amex has arguably one of the worst downsides – you won’t find them accepted at many gambling sites. They’re not nearly as popular as Mastercard or Visa.
There are a few reasons for this.
Reason #1 – Declines Because “America”
One of the reasons you’re not going to see many sportsbooks, casinos, or poker rooms accept Amex is because they’re an American company. And it’s illegal for American banks and credit unions to process payments to/from illegal gambling sites.
That includes Amex. However, the problem is that they don’t distinguish illegal deposits from legal ones. This means that if you’re gambling from a legal state, or a country such as the UK or Canada, there’s still a good chance that you’re going to have your deposit declined.
Not only is that frustrating for gamblers, but it’s a pain in the butt for operators. Who wants to deal with email after email from players wondering why the heck their payments won’t go through?
For a lot of operators – especially those that can accept so many other payment methods – it’s probably not worth dealing with at all.
This is especially true when you consider the next reason.
Reason #2 – Merchant Fees Are High
Another reason operators don’t want to bother with American Express is that their merchant fees are much higher compared to other credit card brands. It’s more than twice as much.
Now, many operators simply pass these fees onto their customers. However, what player wants to pay 5% fees when they can pay 2% fees using Mastercard or Visa instead?
Then there are many gambling sites – especially those in the United Kingdom – that don’t charge their customers for banking. This means they have to eat the fees themselves, which can definitely eat into their margins.
Reason #3 – Gambling Deposits Considered Cash Advances
One of the nastiest fees you’ll ever get hit with using a credit card is cash advance fees. You can have a sub 10% interest rate for normal purchases. However, use the cash advance option, and you’ll be paying closer to 30%, which is an interest rate reserved for people with atrocious credit scores.
Unfortunately, when you make a deposit to a gambling site using your American Express card, it won’t be considered a regular payment but a cash advance. This means that you’ll pay the near-30% interest rate ON TOP of the money you’re gambling with.
This just sort of adds insult to injury considering that you’re already gambling, which is a hobby where you’re often more likely to lose than win.
With all the potential issues with using your Amex card for online gambling, you may want to consider some alternatives.
We apologize if we turned you off from using your American Express to gamble online. However, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if all we told you is where you can gamble using your Amex card without preparing you for the potential costs of doing so.
There are a lot of banking options that you can use instead. But if you want to use plastic, then your options are limited to three different brands – Mastercard, Visa, and Discover.
The following guides will discuss the pros/cons to each option and will point you in the direction of the best sites to join for that particular card.
One of the biggest obstacles you’ll face if you decide to go ahead and use your American Express card to gamble online is the cash advance fees. Paying nearly 30% in fees before you even gamble is ridiculous!
The bright side is that there are ways you can possibly reduce or even eliminate these fees so that maybe you can actually keep some of the money you win.
The following are a few ideas to consider trying.
1. Use Amex to Fund a Different Banking Method
We have to point this option out because it’s really the easiest way to either reduce or eliminate the fees you’d otherwise pay if you made a deposit directly using your Amex card.
You can fund just about any other banking option you want. We’d recommend you look into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, money transfers (for low-limit deposits), or different brands of prepaid cards.
2. Play Games of Skill
One way you can offset the fees you’ll pay using Amex is to trade games of chance for games of skill. This means giving up games like slots and keno for games like blackjack or perhaps even video poker.
Or better yet, skip the house games altogether and instead learn how to play poker or bet on sports profitably.
Regardless of the way you go, it will take a lot of work. You won’t become profitable overnight. But once you do, you’ll have no problem offsetting your fees, not to mention turning a profit.
3. Claim Rebates and Cashback Offers
If you’re going to play games or make bets anyway, you might as well get paid for it, right? Besides, collecting some free money each week can offset the fees that American Express charges.
You’ll find cashback offers available for most forms of gambling. The only exception is sports betting. Cashback isn’t nearly as common there. However, for everything else, you’ll receive points for every $1 or $10 you spend. Then, once you’ve earned enough points, you can exchange them for cashback.
Rebates are usually reserved for sports bettors and are more common for horse and dog bettors. We’ve seen rebates as high as 8% on your net losses for the previous week. This means that if you spend $500 one week and lose $200, you’ll receive a $16 deposit into your account the following week.
This might not sound like a lot of money, but it can add up over the course of a few weeks or even a couple of months depending on how often you plan to withdraw your winnings.
Think about it like this. Depending on where you play, you might not be able to claim a rebate (maybe because the sportsbook doesn’t offer it). So, the fact that you get to is a bonus. And it all can be used to offset any fees you might have to pay.
Something you’ll want to pay attention to is the gambling site’s promotion terms. If either the rebate or cashback has a playthrough – because not all of them do – you’ll want to try to find the lowest one possible.
If you spend your money trying to clear the playthrough, then there’s a strong possibility that you won’t be able to use that money to cover the costs of using your Amex card.
4. Pay Your Balance When It’s Due
The way (most) credit cards work, you only have to pay interest on the money you spend or advance if you choose to carry a balance. In other words, you only pay interest when you don’t pay your balance off every month.
Well, it seems like it’d be very wise to pay your balance off each month to save yourself from paying nearly 30% in interest on a deposit that could’ve been several hundred or even several thousand dollars.
Not only that, but if you pay your balance off every month, then you reduce the chances of you digging yourself into a hole that’s hard to climb out of and/or you miss a payment or two and screw up your credit rating.
5. Improve Your Credit Score
While you do need a decent credit score to get your hands on an American Express card (690-850 is recommended), there’s still plenty of room for improvement. And if you improve your credit score, then there’s a chance that you can negotiate a lower interest rate.
Depending on what your interest rate is already, this might not make a huge difference.
However, imagine if you were able to cut your credit score from 20% to 10%. This would apply to every single purchase you made. If you make enough purchases on your credit card, there’s a good chance that the money saved there would offset the fees you have to pay on your gambling deposits.
Not only that, but if you improved your credit score, then there’s a good chance that you’d save money elsewhere. For example, you could save money if you were to refinance your home or car. You could get another credit card with a lower interest rate, and so on.
You could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars by improving your credit score. This would help you in more ways than simply the fees you might have to pay on a couple of gambling deposits.
6. Claim and Clear Bonuses (Using Skill Games)
Another way you can offset some incredibly high (and stupid) fees is by claiming a bonus. However, you can’t just claim any bonus and clear it playing any kind of game.
For example, you can claim a $1,000 slots bonus. But chances are this will have a 30x playthrough (at a minimum), which means you need to wager $30,000 to $60,000 before you can cash out any winnings.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you’ll walk away with any extra money unless you get lucky.
We don’t want to count on luck, though. We want a guarantee. And the only way to manage that is to shift the advantage from the casino to you. You need to find a way to consistently turn a profit.
The best way to do that is to choose a form of gambling such as blackjack, poker, video poker, or sports betting. You can learn to gamble and break even consistently on each of these options.
Break-even is good enough in this case because that means if you manage to run well enough (you have decent luck), you can clear a several hundred or several thousand dollar bonus. This might even be on top of any cashback or rebate monies you’re eligible to collect.
This money should be more than enough to cover nearly 30% in fees. And you’ll do even better if you manage to turn a profit (instead of break even).
7. Win a Life-Changing Progressive Jackpot
Okay, you got us – this isn’t something you can control.
However, what you can control is using the money you deposited to play progressive jackpots that currently have 5-, 6-, and 7-figure prize pools.
What’s more is that these don’t even have to cost you tons of money per spin. There are many games that award these jackpots at random regardless of how much you bet. You’ll have a better chance if you bet more money, but you don’t have to.
This is obviously a long shot and not something that’s in your control like the previous six tips. However, you can’t argue the fact that, if you won, you’d have no problem covering your fees and then some.
And if you’re going to play using money from your credit card and pay ridiculous fees for the privilege, why wouldn’t you play a game where you could win life-changing money if you managed to get lucky?
American Express is yet another option if you want to use a credit card to fund your online gambling hobby.
However, you do want to keep in mind that there are downsides to doing so. You might have a harder time finding a gambling site to join since not all of them accept Amex. And chances are you’ll be paying much higher fees than if you were to use Visa or Mastercard.
That said, there are safe and secure gambling sites that accept American Express. And to avoid compounding your downsides further, we recommend you join one of the sites we recommend at the top of this page.
Do that, and the only thing you’ll really have to worry about is fees. This is much better than worrying about whether the site you’re about to join is safe, secure, and reputable.