Guide to using American Express to Deposit at Online Casinos
AMEX is the oldest credit card brand, and was largely responsible for popularizing the use of plastic instead of cash. American Express can be used to deposit at offshore casino sites from the US. This page gives you an overview of everything you need to know about using your AMEX card to make online casino deposits.
First up you’ll find an overview of the legal situation, followed by a walk-through of the process for making the deposit. This deposit method cannot currently be used for withdrawing your winnings. I have covered the alternatives for cashing out after that big win at the bottom of this page.
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Are AMEX Casino Deposits Legal?
One of the big misunderstandings about the ‘Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act’ (or UIGEA) of 2006 is that it makes online gambling illegal under Federal law. The target of this act is the banks and gambling site operators, and individual players are not even mentioned.
This means that ‘domestic’ transactions to gambling sites will be blocked by the financial systems used to clear payments, including the banks.
Online casinos are based offshore, in countries which license online gambling site operators. To deposit with your AMEX card, you make international purchases instead of domestic ones. This is both legal and fast (providing the operator can get through the authorization systems, your deposit will be processed in minutes).
What are the Steps for Making AMEX Casino Deposits?
The first thing you will need to do is to make sure that your casino accepts American Express. If this is not listed as an option on the cashier information page of their website, it can still be worth asking support about this. I will assume that you have also carried out some background checks to ensure that your casino is reputable. The casinos listed in our Casino Sites section are a great place to start to ensure you are dealing with trusted operators.
You will need to register an account first, and then head over to the cashier section (usually via a large and brightly colored button). Next select AMEX as your deposit method and fill in the following fields:
Your name as printed on the card, the long card number, the security number (this is located on the front of AMEX cards), the date your card expires and the amount you wish to deposit.
You may also be given the opportunity to add any bonus code you have at this point.
Once you hit ‘submit’ the transaction will go through payment gateways, and if successful you will find out within 1 to 2 minutes. Sometimes cards that get declined will be accepted if you try again later. I recommend you speak with the support staff at your casino if your card does get declined to find out about the alternative options.
Many casinos will ask you to fill out a verification form. This can be done before you play, or sometimes when you come to make a withdrawal. This will involve sending your IDs as well as pictures of your card. I see this as a positive step (though it can take a little time). By ensuring that you are the real owner of the card, your interests are being protected.
Casino Withdrawals using American Express
You will not be able to withdraw from an online casino using your AMEX card. In fact no credit card withdrawals are possible in the current setup of offshore operators.
There are several good alternatives available. The most commonly used (and usually the cheapest) is to have a paper check couriered to your door. US Banks will process these, with a short delay while they clear through to your account. Other ways of withdrawing after making an AMEX deposit include money transfer services like MoneyGram or Western Union – or a bank wire if the amount is large.
Alternatives to AMEX
If your card does get declined, or your casino does not accept this deposit method, then there are still several alternatives. Visa and MasterCard are both popular options at online casinos – and if you do not have one then you can purchase pre-paid Visa cards from gas stations. You can also use money transfer services, or even Bitcoins. I recommend that you chat with the support staff to find the best option.
History of American Express
The first American Express card was issued back in 1958 – though the company is more than 100 years older. The American Express Company was originally listed as an express mail provider and was set up in New York in 1850. It was the release of a card by Diners Club which triggered the first AMEX cards to be issued. Until 1987, all American Express cards needed to be paid in full each month, instead using an annual fee model.
AMEX cards currently account for 24% of all domestic credit card transactions. In addition to the tiers of credit card (Gold, Platinum and so on); there is a long list of co-branded cards – which include many international companies as well as US names. While coverage in the US is very high, it has been noted that worldwide it can be hit or miss whether your Amex card is accepted.