What does AMEX Explorer "Over the Counter" fees mean?

Hi All

I have just received the AMEX Explorer card and am looking to start earning points asap (in particular to gain sign up bonus of 100,000 points). From the documents I received, it appears that AMEX will charge $3 per “over the counter” transaction. On my reading, that is each time I “tap and go” or use it at a shop / restaurant etc? This could obviously build up to a very high fee if used daily / is prohibitive for using the card on a daily basis?

My questions are:

  1. I would be very keen to hear people’s experiences / approaches to the above (if my understanding is correct)?; and
  2. Have people used the AMEX to buy a prepaid CC (like a Coles etc) which, should at least, be less than the $3 fee per over the counter transaction.

Many thanks all!

That $3 over counter fee does not occur for purchases… I’ve never seen it in my statement regardless of whether tapping/inserting/swiping. I’m not sure which part of T&C you’re referring to, I’ve guessed it’s for non-purchase transactions, eg cash advance at a bank?

The biggest limitations on daily use are more likely to be in that some places that do accept Visa or Mastercard don’t accept AMEX.

Be careful with buying a prepaid CC, it can be treated as a cash advance with high interest charges.

Thank you. I spoke with AMEX but they simply said “it was a fee being charged by Merchants” without being too helpful as to when it actually applied (!) The person I spoke with seemed to suggest it applied every time I used it over the counter (!).

After further investigation myself I found the actual meaning / basis for the charge. Happily, it is only payable if you pay your Card account in person at Australia Post (see https://www.americanexpress.com/au/content/credit-cards/about-credit-cards/fees/).

Many thanks! 

I agree with fnqhacker, there is no charge for purchases at supermarkets, petrol stations etc. Where an additional charge is imposed eg. booking airfares, some restaurants etc. the vendor must advise you of the surcharge which will be included in the amount (your invoice/receipt) you are charged by that seller. It will not be an additional charge by Amex.