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American Express SafeKey® UK Cardmember FAQs

1. What is American Express SafeKey® and why is it important?

American Express SafeKey gives you an additional layer of security against theft and fraud when shopping online at participating SafeKey retailers. It helps prevent unauthorised online use of your American Express Card account before it happens. It does this by confirming your identity with a SafeKey password before allowing the payment to be taken from your Card at online checkout. It is the online shopping equivalent of entering your PIN into a Chip and PIN machine when making a purchase in store. To continue shopping online at participating SafeKey retailers, you will need to enrol your Card in SafeKey.


You can enrol now or when you make your first purchase at a participating SafeKey retailer. When you enrol, you will need to create a SafeKey password, and a SafeKey personal message, which are unique to you. You will see your SafeKey personal message displayed on the SafeKey authentication screen during checkout to assure you that you are making a purchase through American Express, not an imposter. Check your SafeKey personal message is correct before you proceed. The same window will ask you to enter your SafeKey password. Once your identity is confirmed with a correct SafeKey password, you can proceed with checkout and complete your purchase.


Do not enter your SafeKey password if your SafeKey personal message is incorrect. Contact Customer Services immediately to report it, by calling the phone number on the back of your American Express Card.

2. Doesn’t American Express already protect my Card account from theft and fraud?

Yes, you are already protected against theft and fraud by American Express. If you use your Card at an online retailer which does not have SafeKey, you are still protected against theft and fraud, but if you shop using SafeKey, it will give you an additional layer of security by further reducing the chance of fraud happening on your Card account.

3. What happens if I do not enrol my Card in SafeKey?

You will not be able to use your Card at participating SafeKey retailers.


If you do not want to enrol the first time you make a purchase at a participating SafeKey retailer, you can bypass enrolment and continue your purchase without SafeKey, but you can only bypass enrolment twice. On your third purchase at a participating SafeKey retailer you will need to enrol in order to pay with your American Express Card. It makes no difference whether you bypass enrolment at the same retailer, or at different participating SafeKey retailers, you will still need to enrol to continue your third purchase on your American Express Card.

4. Will I be charged for shopping with SafeKey at participating SafeKey retailers?

No, SafeKey is a complimentary , benefit to Cardmembers. It is available to all American Express UK Cardmembers, but you must enrol in SafeKey in order to use it.

5. How do I enrol my Card in American Express SafeKey?

You can enrol in SafeKey straight away to save you time when you make a purchase at a participating SafeKey retailer. Enrolment only takes a few minutes and you only need to enrol once. There are four simple steps to enrolment:

  • Step one: Accept the SafeKey Terms and Conditions
  • Step two: Enter your 15-digit Card number
  • Step three: Confirm your identity by entering some security information, which you have given us previously on your Card account
  • Step four: Create your SafeKey password and personal message.

If you do not have time to enrol now, you can enrol when you make your first purchase at a participating SafeKey retailer. During the checkout process, a window with authentication information will appear to confirm your identity and will prompt you to enrol in SafeKey. Once enrolled, your American Express Card cannot be used without your SafeKey password for online purchases at participating SafeKey retailers.


If you do not want to enrol the first time you make a purchase at a participating SafeKey retailer, you can bypass enrolment and continue with your purchase without SafeKey, but you can only bypass enrolment twice. On your third purchase at a participating SafeKey retailer you will need to enrol in order to pay using your American Express Card. It makes no difference whether you bypass enrolment at the same retailer, or at different retailers, you will still need to enrol to continue your third purchase at any participating SafeKey retailer on your American Express Card.


When your Card expires and is replaced, you do not need to enrol it again. Your SafeKey password and personal message will remain the same, providing your American Express Card number has not changed. If your Card is cancelled due to loss or theft, then you will need to enrol your replacement Card in SafeKey.

6. What is a SafeKey password?

Your SafeKey password is like a PIN number. You will need to enter it each time you use your Card to make a purchase at a participating SafeKey retailer. It is the online shopping equivalent of the PIN you are required to input in store, to confirm your identity, when you make a purchase using a Chip and PIN machine at the checkout.


Your SafeKey password must contain 8 to 20 characters, including one letter and one number. You may include the following characters: _, =, -. It cannot include any spaces and is not case sensitive (you can use upper and/or lower case letters).


You can change your SafeKey password whenever you use SafeKey. During the online checkout process you will be prompted by a SafeKey screen to enter your SafeKey password. On this screen you can click “Forgotten your SafeKey password?” which will take you to a different screen. Once you have entered your personal information to confirm your identity, you may reset your SafeKey password. You can then continue your purchase using SafeKey.

7. What is a SafeKey personal message?

You can choose whatever you like for your SafeKey personal message, but please ensure it does not imply or incorporate your SafeKey password. It can only include letters, numbers and spaces. It cannot include any special characters. It is not case sensitive (you can use upper and/or lower case letters).


Your SafeKey personal message will appear automatically each time you use SafeKey during checkout. It is an extra piece of validation to assure you that you are transacting through American Express, so always check it is correct before you enter your SafeKey password and continue your online purchase. If your SafeKey personal message is incorrect, you should contact Customer Services immediately to report a possible fraud by calling the phone number on the back of your American Express Card.

8. What if I forget my SafeKey password or enter it incorrectly?

If you forget your SafeKey password or enter it incorrectly; click the "Forgotten your SafeKey password?" link in the
American Express SafeKey authentication window and follow the instructions provided. Always be sure to keep your SafeKey password secret and never write it down.

9. How do I know enrolment in SafeKey is safe and secure?

We understand that many people are reluctant to enter their card numbers in unfamiliar places online. American Express keeps your private and payment data secure by utilising data encryption and data security technology to prevent unauthorised access.

10. Any other questions? See page 2 of FAQs.

Click on tab 2 to see more FAQs.

If you have any other questions about SafeKey or using your American Express Card, please call Customer Services using the phone number on the back of your American Express Card.

11. Where can I shop with American Express SafeKey?

SafeKey is an online shopping tool. You will see the SafeKey logo on participating SafeKey retailers’ websites during checkout.


At present SafeKey is only available if you are a UK Cardmember. You can only use SafeKey when making a purchase at participating SafeKey UK retailers. If you are overseas, you can still make a purchase at a participating SafeKey UK retailer with your SafeKey enrolled American Express Card.

12. Can I shop with SafeKey using my current American Express Card?

Yes, you can enrol any activated personal or Corporate UK American Express Card in SafeKey.

13. Can I shop with SafeKey from any computer?

SafeKey works with any computer that is connected to the Internet. There is no special software to install. Once you enrol your Card in SafeKey, you will be able to shop online as usual at participating SafeKey retailers.

14. Will I have to use my password every time I shop at a Safekey enabled merchant?

At American Express we strive to make your online shopping experience as secure as possible, without sacrificing the convenience of shopping online. In certain circumstances SafeKey is able to work transparently to make your shopping experience smoother so that you are not required to provide your password for some transactions. When you are not required to enter your SafeKey password, you will be advised via a SafeKey screen appearing in the merchant's website which will briefly explain that a password is not required for that transaction.

15. What should I do if someone has obtained my SafeKey password or has used it to make a fraudulent purchase on my Card account?

If you ever suspect that a fraudulent purchase has been made using your American Express Card account, contact Customer Services immediately to report it, by calling the phone number on the back of your American Express Card.

16. Can supplementary, additional or joint Cardmembers on the same American Express Card account, use the same SafeKey password and personal message?

Supplementary, additional or joint Cardmembers must enrol their Cards separately and choose their own SafeKey password and personal message.

17. Can a Cardmember who has multiple American Express Cards on their account use the same SafeKey password and personal message for all of their Cards?

Yes, but it is not recommended. You will still need to enrol each Card separately, and it is strongly recommended that you choose a different SafeKey password and personal message for each Card.

18. Does each Corporate Cardmember need to enrol in American Express SafeKey individually?

Yes, each Corporate Card must be enrolled in American Express SafeKey by the individual Cardmember. Each Card will require a separate SafeKey password and personal message.

19. Any other questions?

If you have any other questions about SafeKey or using your American Express Card, please call Customer Services using the phone number on the back of your American Express Card.

Enrol now

It takes a few minutes to enrol your American Express Card in SafeKey, and you only need to enrol once.

Enrol now

Contact Us

Have a query? Call our team between 8am and 5pm weekdays: Tel: +44 (0) 1273 696933 See all UK contact information