Amazon UK no longer accepting Visa credit cards

Feels like shots fired at Visa to try get them to reduce their fees?


This is huge news, and they can probably only get away with it because relatively few credit cards are Visa.

Also, it’s quite funny that they mention “Eurocard”, since it no longer exists!

Bugger. I switched to Barclaycard when I realised I wasn’t going to hit the £3000 minimum this year for Amex cashback.

Time to break out the Chase debit card, I think.

Another option, at the cost of Section 75 protection, is to use Visa credit cards via Curve.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen Visa not accepted when other cards are, though. Normally Visa and Mastercard are always both accepted (or possibly no cards accepted) and it’s Amex that is sometimes not an option.

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Does Visa charge higher fees than Amex?

For most people, no - but it depends what sort of special deal Amazon have managed to get with each.

Wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve managed to batter Amex down quite low as having Amazon accept Amex is probably quite important to them.

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And with their own Amazon credit card being Mastercard, may earn a few more customers for New Day!

That’s my default card for Amazon anyway as I get 1.5% cashback, being a Prime member too.

Quite a clever move by Amazon really:

  • If it forces Visa to lower their fees - Amazon has won.

  • If Visa doesn’t budge, by the 19th January many Amazon customers will have already changed their primary card from Visa to something else, after being warned to do so. So even if Amazon decides to continue to accept Visas anyway, fewer customers will be using them and so they’ll be paying less of the “high” fees.

Your move Visa…


I wonder if we may see visa try to make a play for holding their debit card users hostage. I believe in the U.K., visa debit cards are still the more common card in the wallet. Most of my non-fintech bank cards are visa.

Ultimately it’s Amazon that has the relationship with users though, so in a battle for their support, it’s amazon’s fight to lose.

I recall when Sky did something similar with a bundle of their channels. Last minute deal was struck in Sky’s favour. Users just didn’t care about the channels as much as the channels thought they did.

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If I were Visa I’d terminate Amazon’s contract and then make them come back at a higher fee. Barclays, Lloyd’s Group, Santander, NatWest Group are all issuing Visa currently. You’ve lost 50% of the market as customers.

And that something else could be an Amazon card.

True, but there isn’t really an Amazon alternative out there. Whereas many people will already have a Visa Credit alternative, in the form of a Debit card.

They don’t all issue Visa Credit Cards though

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Wasn’t this a carriage dispute with Virgin Media?

Virgin Media customers lost access to certain Sky-branded and owned channels during the dispute, but VM launched some “replacement” channels to make up for it and made some previously-premium channels available to all.

Customers stuck with VM rather than defect to Sky, so Sky eventually caved in and allowed Virgin Media to have the channels again on much the same terms as before?

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That’s why this is quite a calculated move.

Of those, only Barclays issue Visa credit cards so comparatively few customers are affected.

There would be more of an anti-Amazon outcry if a larger number of customers were affected.

No, it was something to do with a bundle of documentary channels on Sky. The company who owned the channels wanted more money and Sky wouldn’t pay. So they put a big fat notice on the website saying the channels would be removed and why, and the company caved.

Can’t remember who.

That may have been Discovery?
Or possibly the National Geographic set of channels?

Anyway, the example I cited happened as well (and illustrates the same point, ultimately) so I suppose it just goes to show that these things do happen all the time!


Ah yes! It was Discovery!

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That’s an interesting comparison, as arguably Discovery was a fairly major network that Sky “needed” to have.

Visa credit cards, although perhaps annoying to some users, will be a fairly small percentage of Amazon sales (and I bet they have the data to prove this) so Amazon as likely to be far more able to take the hit than Sky were.

Eventually, one side or the other will cave in, of course, but I doubt it will be Amazon.

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PS: Also, this reminds me of another marketing tactic of Sky’s. Exclusivity.

To this day they still won’t allow Sky Atlantic on Virgin Media, if I remember correctly?

So sometimes the standoff really does continue forever!

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