American Express Credit Cards in Germany

American Express credit cards are known and used worldwide, but less so in Germany. Not surprisingly, Germans barely use and even own credit cards; their existence is rare in Germany. Yet, they are very useful, especially those from reputable brands like AMEX.

Credit cards from American Express are charge cards giving you a real credit line, unlike many other German providers. You can pay the money back after 30 days without any interest. In this article, we explain whether American Express credit cards are accepted in Germany & Europe and how you can get one.

You can see our summary of the best credit cards in Germany in this article.

Are American Express credit cards accepted in Germany?

In most places in Germany, American Express credit cards are accepted. Most large brands and chains accept payments with AMEX cards. Some stores might even accept Diners Club, JCB, and UnionPay.

However, you should check the acceptance beforehand on the official AMEX website.

There are still many places that either don’t take cards at all or accept only debit cards like Girocard, V Pay, and Maestro. So you better be prepared to pay with cash and have a backup card.

Nonetheless, the number of acceptance partners in Germany where you can pay with your American Express credit card has grown steadily in recent years, and this trend continues.

You can pay in many different shops across all sectors (both online and offline), including:

  • supermarkets and drugstores
  • technology
  • hobby and leisure
  • fashion
  • mobility
  • restaurants and bars
  • tourism, e.g., hotels

AMEX cards are accepted by retailers, airlines, hotels, rental car companies, gas stations, restaurants, and more.

Here is the part of the list where American Express credit cards accepted in Germany:

  • Aldi Nord & Süd
  • Alnatura
  • Bauhaus
  • Bang & Olufsen
  • Basic
  • Bijou Brigitte
  • C&A
  • Deichmann
  • Dehner
  • Depot
  • dm
  • Douglas
  • Famila
  • Fielmann
  • Galeria Kaufhof
  • Gosch
  • Hagebau
  • Hit
  • Hornbach
  • H&M
  • Ikea
  • Jack Wolfskin
  • Jysk
  • Kaufland
  • Karstadt
  • Leysieffer
  • Lidl
  • Media Markt
  • Metro
  • Müller
  • Netto
  • Norma
  • Peek & Cloppenburg
  • Penny
  • Primark
  • Real
  • Rewe
  • Rossmann
  • Saturn
  • Søstrene Grene
  • tegut
  • Toom Baumarkt
  • Woolworth
  • Zara

In addition to the major chains where you can pay with your card, tens of thousands of retailers in Germany accept American Express credit cards. You can simply see all merchants that allow payments with AMEX cards on this interactive map.

Petrol stations

Many gas stations let you pay with AMEX, and they also grant acceptance points, including Aral, Avia, BP, Esso, Go, HEM, Jet, Oil, Shell, Sprint, Star, Tamoil, and Total.

Benefits of paying with AMEX card

Shopping with American Express credit cards has many benefits, including:

  • Contactless payment: pay with the card without entering your pin code.
  • Maximum security with intelligent security systems like SafeKey to protect you from fraud.
  • Convenient and user-friendly Amex mobile app: you can track all your account activity, point balances, and offers.
  • Notifications: customers receive notifications via email or SMS also in case of suspicious transactions.
  • Participate in the membership rewards program and earn points with every purchase.
  • Benefits from various AMEX offers.
  • Extended return policy: when shopping with an AMEX card, customers benefit from an extended 90-day return policy for new products.

Points and rewards program

Many people use American Express cards just because of their attractive rewards program. As a customer, you get many perks from the points when paying with AMEX to access airport lounges.

That said, you will earn money when spending. For every euro spent, you receive one point to your account. Later you can use these points in several ways, for example:

  1. Pay with points: your points are equal to money in locations where points are accepted. You can also use them to pay for your credit line with AMEX.
  2. Points are widely accepted by hotels and airlines, making traveling cheaper for you.

Can you use American Express credit cards in Europe?

Yes, you can definitely use AMEX cards in European countries, but you might face some limitations. American Express cards are accepted worldwide, but not by all merchants. So, you want to check acceptance beforehand; use their official website for this.

Getting an American Express credit card in Germany

So, how do you get an American Express credit card in Germany? The application can be made online, but, firstly, you must meet several requirements; this is the case with all credit cards.

Most importantly, you must be a resident of Germany, have a regular income, and have a positive SCHUFA score. AMEX will request you to follow these steps when applying for a credit card online:

Personal dataName, date of birth, zip code and email address.
Contact detailsPhone number and full address.
Financial InformationBank account information, requested PIN number, employment information, monthly income, and any additional income. This information will be used to calculate your credit limit.
IdentificationAccording to the Money Laundering Act, AMEX bank carries out the identification process together with Deutsche Post. You can identify your identity in several ways:
*at a post office
*online via video chat
*via the eID on your ID card

Identification process:

  • For identification via the post office branch, you need a valid ID document and a printed Postident coupon. The post employees will confirm your identity.
  • For identification online, you need your PC, tablet, or smartphone ready with a webcam.
  • Lastly, you can use the eID function of your ID card and convert your smartphone into a card reader using the POSTIDENT app.

Read this guide on how a foreigner can get a credit card in Germany.

1. American Express Classic (Green Card)

American Express Green Card is the most known AMEX card and comes in green color.

The main features and benefits of the American Express Green Card are:

Annual fees55 EUR or 5 EUR per month and zero from the second year
Free membership if your yearly payments are over 4,000 EUR
No shipping fee
You can cancel your credit card every month
Collect reward points with every purchaseGet 1 point for each EUR you spend
90 days return policy for online or offline purchases
Get 5,000 reward points as a welcome gift, redeemable with card sales of 1,000 EUR or more within the first 3 months.
Contactless payment

Things to keep in mind:

  • The foreign currency fee is 2% of your purchase amount
  • Maximal cash withdrawal is 750 EUR for each 7 days
  • Fee for cash withdrawal is 4%.
  • You should always pay your credit card in time; otherwise, American Express charges a fee, which can be over 5%.
  • Check out the American Express website for a full overview of current terms and fees.

How do you pay the credit back?

Paying a balance back is simple; AMEX will deduct money automatically from your bank account every month. You might also be able to send money to AMEX as a usual money transfer.

2. American Express Blue Card

American Express Blue Card is the most affordable credit card from AMEX; in fact, it’s free.

The main features and benefits of the American Express Blue Card are:

Annual feesZero
You get 45 EUR when signing up
You get priority pass in more than 1,200 airports worldwide
No shipping fee
You can cancel your credit card every month
Collect reward points with every purchaseGet 1 point for each EUR you spend; they are redeemable.
90 days return policy for online or offline purchases

Things to keep in mind:

  • 2% foreign currency fee
  • Maximal cash withdrawal is 750 EUR/7 days.
  • Fee for cash withdrawal is 4%.
  • American Express will charge a fee if you don’t pay your credit card bill on time.
  • Check out the American Express website for a full overview of current terms and fees.

3. American Express Gold Card

The main features and benefits of the American Express Gold Card are:

Monthly fees12 EUR
72 EUR bonus after signing up
Special conditions at Sixt, plus you get the Priority Pass for more than 850 airport VIP lounges worldwide
Travel comfort package including travel cancellation, international health insurance, luggage and travel accident insurance
No shipping fee
You can cancel your credit card every month
Collect reward points with every purchaseGet 1 point for each EUR you spend; you can redeem them later or pay with them.

Things to keep in mind:

  • 2% foreign currency fee
  • The maximal cash withdrawal is 750 EUR/7 days.
  • Fee for cash withdrawal is 4%.
  • You should always pay your credit card on time; for late payments, American Express charges a fee, which can be over 5%.
  • Check out the American Express website for a full overview of current terms and fees.

4. American Express Platinum Card

The main features and benefits of the American Express Gold Card are:

Monthly fees55 EUR
You get 100 EUR after the sign-up
Comprehensive travel insurance package for the whole family
Personal Platinum Card travel & lifestyle service
Access to over 850 airport VIP lounges worldwide with the Priority PassIf you travel regularly, this card makes it worthwhile just because of the access to airport VIP lounges
Parking at discounted rates at 8 major German airports
Get a sleek metal credit card that supports contactless payments
You can cancel your credit card every month
Collect reward points with every purchaseGet 1 point for each EUR you spend

Things to keep in mind:

  • 2% foreign currency fee
  • The maximal cash withdrawal is 1,500 EUR for every 7 days.
  • Cash withdrawal fee is 4%.
  • You should always pay your credit card in time; otherwise, American Express charges a fee, which can be over 5%.
  • Check out the American Express website for a full overview of current terms and fees.

5. American Express BMW Card

The main features and benefits of the American Express BMW Card are:

Annual fees20 EUR; but the card will become free if you spend over 4,000 EUR/year
Get 20 EUR when signing up
1% discount on petrol at any partner gas station
Overseas and travel health insurances
Comprehensive travel insurance package for the whole family
Contactless payment and Apple Pay
Extended return policy (90 days) for your purchases online or offline (min. value of purchase 30 EUR, max. value 400 EUR per purchase, 1,500 EUR per year).
You can cancel credit card every month
Collect reward points with every purchaseGet 1 point for each EUR you spend; you can redeem them later or pay with them.

Things to keep in mind:

  • 2% foreign currency fee
  • The maximal cash withdrawal is 1,500 EUR/7 days.
  • The cash withdrawal fee is 4%.
  • You should always pay your credit card in time; otherwise, American Express charges a fee, which can be over 5%.
  • Check out the American Express website for a full overview of current terms and fees.

6. American Express PAYBACK Card

If you want to collect points while shopping, the AMEX PAYBACK card is your best choice in Germany. You get one payback point each time you spend one EUR.

The main features and benefits of the American Express PAYBACK Card are:

You get 3,000 points when signing up1 payback point is worth 0.01 EUR
Annual feesZero
Can be used worldwide
Payments are free within the EURO zone
You can cancel credit card every month
Collect reward points with every purchaseGet 1 point for each EUR you spend; you can redeem or pay with them later.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The credit card limit is adjusted to your spending habits.
  • 1 Payback point is worth 0.01 EUR.
  • The foreign currency fee is 2%.
  • Maximal cash withdrawal is 1,500 EUR/7 days.
  • Cash withdrawal fee is 4%.
  • If you don’t pay your credit card on time, for late payments, American Express charges a fee, which can be over 5%.
  • Check out the American Express website for a full overview of current terms and fees.

With the AMEX PAYBACK card, you collect points with every purchase you make in any shop in Germany or abroad.

Other great credit cards in Germany are:

See more on credit cards in Germany in this article.

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Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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