American Express cards are accepted at gas stations such as Exxon, Shell, Gulf and Murphy USA. Some merchants may not accept American Express because the cards have a larger fee than other credit cards do, due to the bonuses they grant a customer.
Other locations that accept American Express include most supermarkets, some U.S. department stores such as J.C. Penney and Sears, and some drug stores, such as Walgreens and Rite Aid. Other stores may accept the card, but card rewards are not necessarily earned at all stores for purchases made there. Finally, other stores do not accept American Express.
While local stores may accept the American Express card, they are more likely to prefer Visa or MasterCard, due to the smaller fees. Visa and MasterCard charge smaller fees because they do not make the cards themselves and instead act as the middleman between all parties in a transaction. They work with many banks and institutions to process these transactions. American Express instead issues its own accounts and cards, acting as a closed system. This way the company profits more from purchases and can offer more to customers without needing to negotiate with other banks as much, but its benefits require higher fees from merchants.