If you want to make a direct online poker deposit with your American Express (AMEX) card, you're more than likely going to have a hard time. But there are lots of other ways to use your AmEx card (and still earn your rewards) to fund your online poker account.
As of 2018, direct American Express poker deposits & withdrawals (meaning you want to punch in your card details and have your deposit arrive in your poker account) are a rarity at major online poker sites.
As a business decision, it seems Amex won't allow money transfers to play online poker (although a few online casinos will accept AmEx for some reason.) That applies in both the United States (for both licensed and unlicensed poker sites) and in Europe.
American Express is accepted in over 130 countries in the world but apparently not for online poker purposes.
If you still want to use your American Express card to make a poker deposit, though, you're not entirely shut out. For one, you can easily buy a Visa or Mastercard pre-paid or gift card. For another, you can add funds to your Neteller or Skrill account via your Amex card and then use that account to make your deposit.
You can also walk into any Western Union office and use your AmEx card to send money to a poker site or if you live in a US state that has regulated and licensed online poker you can walk into a land-based casino that has an online poker site and make a deposit right at the cage.
For a complete look at all the payment options available to you as an online poker player in the US or around the world, check our Complete Guide to Poker Deposit Options for more information.
What is American Express?
If you have a TV you've undoubtedly seen American Express' famous commercials over the years but most don't know that American Express was actually founded all the way back in 1850 as an express mail company.
AmEx is most famous for its charge cards, credit cards and travellers checks but has expanded to become a diversified financial services company with financial planning, investment products, insurance, accounting and international banking now services as well.
American Express is, as you might guess, strongest in the United States with its headquarters in New York and, as of 2016, make up about 22% of the total credit card transactions in the States. It's a big deal, worth an estimated $24.5 billion and among Forbes' top 25 most valuable brands in the world. As of 2018 there were about 112 million AmEx cards in circulation around the world with around 50 million of them in the United States.
Unfortunately that firepower doesn't translate directly into smooth and easy online poker deposits and most international poker sites (possibly even all) do NOT take American Express cards straight up for deposits or withdrawals. American Express doesn't offer its own pre-paid cards either.
American Express Poker Benefits
- Accepted worldwide so easy to buy pre-paid cards or deposit in person where possible
- Great rewards for card owners including cash back and airline points
- Very safe and secure transactions
- Travellers checks almost universally accepted overseas for buying cards or vouchers
- Trusted and famous brand with excellent reputation
American Express Poker Disadvantages
- No direct deposits or withdrawals to online poker sites
How Do I Get an American Express Card?
There are two main ways to get an American Express credit card:
- Through your bank
- Through American Express itself
There are over 20 card options to choose from. They include:
- Lifestyle Cards
- Travel Cards
- Cash Back Cards
- Business Cards
The type you'd prefer depends on what you'd use it for most. Different cards have different annual fees (from free to over $500) and offer different perks for your use of the card, from cashback to airline miles to preferred customer service.
The most popular (and famous) American Express cards include the American Express Gold Card, the American Express Platinum Card and the American Express Air Miles credit card.
Visit your bank or AmericanExpress.com for all the details and to begin the application process.
How Do I Make an American Express Poker Deposit?
As mentioned, it's rare you'll find a poker site that directly accepts American Express poker deposits. None of the major poker sites licensed in most of the world's jurisdictions (PokerStars, 888poker, partypoker) currently do - at least the ones in the countries we checked.
One of the few American Express poker sites is Bovada Poker, but it is not an officially licensed and regulated poker site in any US state. You can try to make an online poker American Express deposit there but there is no guarantee that it will be processed by your bank.
The international Bovada site (Bodog.eu) does not accept American Express.
If a poker site does accept American Express the deposit process is very easy and comparable to using a Visa or Mastercard credit card. To find out if your poker site does accept American Express:
- Click to the cashier page
- Scroll through the deposit options menu
- If you see the AmEx logo, you can make a deposit via your AmEx card
If you don't see American Express in your deposit options, you'll likely see either Visa or Mastercard pre-paid cards (or both) or a third-party eWallet (Skrill, Neteller, PayPal).
Visa and Mastercard both offer of pre-paid debit cards you can use to make poker deposits. You can buy them at major retail outlets like Walmart and 7-Eleven with your American Express card and then use the balance on those cards to deposit into your poker account.
If you decide to go the third-party eWallet route, you'll first need to set-up a new account with your preferred provider and fund your account via your American Express card. Check our list of alternate payment methods available via the links below.
Are there American Express Poker Sites in the US?
Ironically, despite American Express being one of the dominant credit card companies in the US, American Express is not accepted as a payment method at any of the licensed and regulated US poker sites.
As mentioned above, American Express is accepted at some unlicensed poker sites that still offer games to US players outside of regulated states (New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania). As we explain on our US Online Poker page, we don't recommend playing (or at the very least holding onto an online poker balance) at unlicensed poker sites for a number of reasons.
You're not doing anything illegal by playing at an unlicensed online poker site but there is no government body that is overseeing that games are fair or that your deposits & withdrawals are guaranteed. It's likely that everything will be fine (most of these sites are actually licensed in other parts of the world and do function as normal businesses) but there are no guarantees. And likely little, if anything, you can do should there be a dispute about the funds you're entitled to.
That said, if you're adamant about using your AmEx card to continue building your points or rewards, or if that's the only means available to you, you have a few options for funding your online poker account via American Express..
If you look at the deposit options available to US players in the licensed states you'll find many recognizable payment methods you can access with your American Express card. Among your options are:
- Visa Debit
- Mastercard Debit
You can also, if you live in New Jersey for example, walk into Resorts Casino and make a deposit to your PokerStars account with your American Express via the cage at the casino.
Can I Use American Express to Play Poker at PokerStars?
As we've mentioned, American Express is not currently a direct deposit or withdrawal option at PokerStars. If you would like to use American Express you'll need to use it to fund another deposit option that is accepted at PokerStars.
Is American Express a Secure Payment Method?
A definite upside of using American Express is your payments are very safe and secure. American Express cards have enhanced protection from fraud, loss or theft with its Chip & PIN technology along with intelligent security systems to help protect from fraud. Customer support is available 24/7 with a toll-free number.
All online transactions between poker sites and customers are also protected by high-level encryption.
Can I Get an American Express Poker Bonus?
Chances are pretty good you'll never get a specific online poker bonus for using an American Express card. But you never know; with online poker legislation gaining more and more traction in more and more states, an American Express online poker bonus might be standard practice one day.
As for now, though, your online poker bonus isn't tethered to one particular deposit method. Check our list of the best poker bonuses right here:
More on Poker Deposits:
- Visa Poker Sites
- Mastercard Poker Sites
- eCheck Poker Sites
- ecoPayz Poker Sites
- entropay Poker Sites
- Maestro Poker Sites
- paysafecard Poker Sites
- iDEAL Poker Sites
- Boku Poker Sites
- Discover Poker Sites
- POLi Poker Sites
- Western Union Poker Sites
- Skrill Poker Sites
- Neteller Poker Sites
- PayPal Poker Sites
- WebMoney Poker Sites