Where are my credit cards accepted?

Woman shopping because she knows where her credit card will be accepted? Woman shopping because she knows where her credit card will be accepted? Image:

In a Nutshell

Not all credit cards are accepted everywhere. In this guide, find out which credit cards are accepted at major stores and locations — and which ones aren't.

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Have you ever had your credit card rejected?

After bringing his car into a local repair shop, Alex Reichmann, the CEO of iTestCash, got his engine fixed. When it came time to pay the merchant, he took out his American Express® credit card. The problem? The shop didn’t accept American Express® credit cards, and Reichmann had pay with another card.

“I ended up needing to go back to my house to bring back a Visa® card to use at the shop,” he says.

If you’ve dealt with a similar situation, you know how frustrating and embarrassing it can be when your credit card isn’t accepted. But the reality is that credit cards accepted at some merchants aren’t accepted at others. Knowing where your credit card is accepted will help you be an empowered consumer who avoids card rejections.

Why aren’t all credit cards accepted everywhere?

Why are certain credit cards accepted by some merchants but not others? When it comes down to it, much of it has to do with fees the merchant must pay.

“Whether a store will accept your credit card is typically dependent on the fee structure of the card,” says John Liston, manager of strategy and operations at All Set, a home services app.

When a consumer uses a credit card, a merchant pays credit card processing fees for each transaction. This can take a bite out of their bottom line, so it needs to be worth it for them.

Like Reichmann, Liston says he’s also encountered situations where his Amex® card isn’t accepted because the merchant doesn’t want to pay the processing fees.

In other words, whether a credit card is accepted depends on the merchant and if they want to pay the fees associated with that card.


Where are my credit cards accepted?


Warehouse stores

Facing the crowds and shopping at warehouse stores may help you save money and get everything you need in one trip. But before you go to the register with a full cart, understand which cards are accepted and which are not. Note: Our guide refers to physical stores unless otherwise specified.

What credit cards are accepted at Costco?

 Payment type Costco 
Visa®
Mastercard® Not accepted
American Express® Not accepted
Discover® Not accepted
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

From our partner

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

From cardholders in the last year

What credit cards are accepted at Sam’s Club?

Payment type Sam’s Club 
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®
Sam’s Club® credit card
Walmart credit card  

What credit cards are accepted at Walmart?

Payment type Walmart
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®
Walmart credit card  

Mobile payments

Making payments and transferring money has never been easier with the rising popularity of online and mobile payments. Though it’s easy to make payments using these platforms, you want to be aware of which credit cards they accept.

What credit cards are accepted by PayPal?

Payment type PayPal 
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®
JCB
Diner’s Club  
EnRoute  

What credit cards are accepted by Square?

Payment type Square
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®
JCB
UnionPay  

What credit cards are accepted by Venmo?

Payment type Venmo
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®

Note: If you send money through Venmo using a credit card, there will be a 3 percent processing fee. Credit card processing fees also apply for Square and PayPal.


Ride-sharing platforms

In today’s sharing economy, ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft have become household names. With the power of your smartphone, you can get a car to come to you within minutes to take you to your destination.

The great part about these apps is that you sync your credit card information within the app, so there’s no need to pull out your card with each ride. But which credit cards do these platforms take?

What credit cards are accepted by Uber?

Payment type Uber 
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®

Pro tip: American Express cardholders who are enrolled in the Membership Rewards® program can both earn and use points when riding with Uber.

What credit cards are accepted by Lyft?

Payment type Lyft
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®

What credit cards are accepted by car2go?

Payment type car2go
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover® Not accepted

Grocery stores

Grocery shopping can be a big part of your budget. Because of this, it’s important to know if your favorite stores accept your credit card. Read on to learn more about which credit cards are accepted at grocery stores and grocery delivery services.

What credit cards are accepted by Trader Joe’s?

Payment type Trader Joe’s
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®

What credit cards are accepted by Aldi?

Payment type Aldi
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®

What credit cards are accepted by Whole Foods?

Payment type Whole Foods
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®

What credit cards are accepted by Instacart?

Payment type Instacart
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®

What credit cards are accepted by Amazon Fresh?

Payment type Amazon.com
Visa®
Mastercard®
American Express®
Discover®
Diner’s Club
JCB
NYCE
STAR
China UnionPay

Worldwide travel

Traveling abroad can be a great way to see the world and experience a new culture. But when you’re traveling abroad, the last thing you want is a credit card that is not accepted. You want to be able to relax and enjoy yourself without the stress of looking for another payment option that will work.

The good news is that Visa® and Mastercard® are generally widely accepted abroad. The bad news is Discover® and American Express® are not as widely accepted. Also, in some places cash is still king. It’s important to note that the same rules apply abroad as in the U.S., namely that whether a card will be accepted depends on the individual merchant. Even in Canada, where most types of cards are generally accepted, some merchants still stick with cash only.

The essential guide to the best travel rewards cards.

Bottom line 

As a consumer, you have many different types of credit cards at your disposal. The problem is not all merchants will accept all credit cards.

Before making a big purchase or planning your next dream getaway, do some research on which credit cards are accepted and which ones are not – or even which ones are the most widely accepted. It might be a good idea to have a second form of payment on hand, just in case.