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Introducing your clever new Contactless Card

Many American Express Cards issued after September 2011, be it a new Card or a replacement or renewal Card, will come with contactless technology, making it quicker and easier to purchase items under £20. This is in addition to the usual Chip & PIN technology, providing a faster, more convenient way to shop for smaller purchases.

Key details
  • Contactless allows you to make purchases up to £20 by touching your Card against a contactless reader at any American Express contactless retailer
  • Our contactless technology is just as secure as Chip & PIN and each transaction is protected by your usual American Express Fraud Protection Guarantees
  • You don’t need to carry change
  • It’s faster and more convenient than cash – great for smaller purchases like coffee and snacks, tickets or magazines
  • You’ll pick up more of your usual rewards such as Cashback or Membership Rewards® points, when you use your Card instead of cash
  • You will have an itemised record of your spending, captured on your monthly statement.
How it works

Beep and go – the faster way to buy

It’s so simple. Technology within your Card wirelessly connects to any American Express contactless reader within a short range, identifying the Card as yours. You just request to pay contactlessly and hold your Card over the reader for a few seconds. When it confirms your payment is made, your transaction is authorised and you’re on your way.

You can use your Card at any retailer with American Express contactless technology


Getting started

One quick transaction – then you’re up and running

You must complete one traditional Chip & PIN transaction on your new Card once you have activated it. This lets us know you have safely received the Card. Then you’re free to enjoy contactless shopping anywhere that accepts American Express contactless payments.

Key details
  • You make one traditional Chip & PIN transaction to initiate the Card
  • You then enjoy contactless shopping with retailers who have American Express contactless technology in-store
  • Occasionally you may be asked to enter your PIN code while contactless shopping, as an additional security measure
  • Each contactless transaction is protected by the same American Express Fraud Protection Guarantees as your usual Chip & PIN transactions


1. Is my American Express Contactless Card secure?
Yes, it is very secure. American Express issued Contactless Cards use the same secure technology as any other American Express Chip and PIN Cards. For payment to be taken, a retailer must enter the amount for you to approve and you will need to place your Contactless Card very close to the reader. Therefore, contactless payments cannot be made or duplicated without your knowledge.

2. How does contactless actually work?
Contactless works by using short range wireless technology, so the reader will pick up a signal from your Card when it's very close to it. You can use your Card for payments of £20 or less and, as an extra security measure, you may be occasionally asked to use your PIN.

3. If I get too close to a contactless reader, is there a risk of my Card getting charged accidentally?
If you come close to a contactless reader, you won’t be charged accidentally. In order for a transaction to take place, the retailer must prepare the reader to accept a contactless transaction and you then have to hold your Card right in front of the reader at precisely the right time – and for more than half a second.

4. Where can I use contactless?
More and more places are starting to accept American Express Contactless Cards in both the UK and around the world. From coffee shops to buses the list is growing, making it easier to pay for the essentials in life.

5. Could I use my Contactless Card abroad (e.g. in the USA)?
You can use your Contactless Card abroad in most places that you see the contactless acceptance logo. The transaction limit will be the equivalent of £20 in the foreign currency.

6. Can I just use my Contactless Card for Oyster travel?
No, your American Express issued Contactless Card allows you to make contactless purchases in retailers which accept American Express contactless payments, it is not a substitute for your Oyster card. However in 2012 Transport for London plan to begin accepting payment for travel on all London Buses via American Express Contactless Cards.

7. Can I still collect rewards on my Card?
Yes. Contactless transactions are eligible for rewards just like your normal Chip and PIN transactions.

8. I already have a Card – can I apply for a Contactless Card?
We are gradually migrating our Cards to contactless, if your current product is not yet contactless, we advise you to wait as once your Card is expired, it may naturally be replaced with a Contactless Card.

9. How do I know if my Card is contactless?
Currently there are several American Express products which have contactless technology, with more planned in the near future. To see if your Card is contactless, look for the contactless symbol on the back of your Card.

10. How am I protected against fraud?
American Express Cardmembers are 100% financially protected against credit card (Chip & PIN and contactless payments) fraud. As long as you have not been negligent (for example, by disclosing your PIN) you are not liable for any transactions which may take place on your account without your authorisation. From time to time, you may be asked to use your Chip and PIN functionality on a transaction to ensure that the spending we are seeing on your account is genuine. This is a further measure to ensure that the person using your Card is you and provide you with peace of mind.

11. Are contactless payments secure?
Absolutely. You enjoy the same 100% fraud protection on contactless payments as your normal Chip & PIN transactions. For security purposes, you will occasionally be asked to enter your PIN when making a contactless payment. If your Card is lost, stolen or misused by someone without your permission, you will not be liable for any loss on the Card. You will not be liable to us for losses which take place after you have told us about the theft.

12. What happens if my Card stops working?
You should contact your Customer Services team as soon as possible on the number of the back of your Card. We will help you and arrange a replacement if this is required.

13. I have received a Contactless Card, can I choose to have a Chip and PIN Card instead?
Your Contactless Card can be used for Chip and PIN only transactions if you wish. You decide how you use your Card to pay for goods and services so simply advise the retailer that you wish to pay by Chip & PIN.

14. Why should I use Contactless?
Visit for the full story about Contactless and the benefits it can offer you.