I'm planning on visiting Spain for several months. Is the Amex (American Express) brand credit card well accepted? Is Visa or Mastercard more accepted than Amex?

  • 2
    Throughout the world, Visa and Mastercard credit cards are more widely accepted than American Express— widespread acceptance is not the primary reason I use American Express. You will need to define what you consider "well-accepted" to be before this question can be answered, however.
    – choster
    Aug 28, 2017 at 14:36
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    More cashback is the primary reason I'm considering Amex :) By well accepted I mean that medium to large size businesses will likely accept it. I'm not so worried about small shops.
    – zundi
    Aug 28, 2017 at 15:23
  • I had my Amex widely accepted in Majorca, but that's also much more touristy that other areas in mainland Spain. Aug 28, 2017 at 17:22
  • most non international supermarkets, most restaurants & bars, & most places won't accept anything beyond Visa or Mastercard, and sometimes not even mastercard.
    – CptEric
    Aug 31, 2017 at 7:02

2 Answers 2


As an Spanish inhabitant and an AMEX card holder, I can say that most stores are reluctant to accept American Express nowadays.

In a big city such as Madrid maybe 25% of the places would accept it, but if you go to a smaller province capital city, you will be lucky if 1 out of every 10 venues accepts it. You can look for the blue square sign, as Itai says, but sometimes there won't be any in your surroundings.

Important note: almost every taxi accepts Visa and MasterCard, never AMEX. So remember to withdraw some cash if you want to take a taxi. The same applies for most bus lines. Long-distance train, however, accepts AMEX.


While acceptance has grown, American Express is much less accepted than Mastercard or Visa. We had trouble in Spain getting it accepted and learned that Mastercard worked much more often.

Now, you can choose to go to establishment that accept American Express which is often shown as a blue sticker on the front door of such places. If you choose the place first, it seemed that most typical established not of a high-end nature, do not take Amex often. Again, it depends where you go. Places that aim for a business-type clientele, are more likely to take it.

  • Hi @Itai! Would you say most supermarkets would accept Amex? I'm not so worried about small corner restaurants, but more like supermarkets, clothes stores, etc.
    – zundi
    Aug 28, 2017 at 15:22
  • @zundi Unfortunately, I did not use supermarkets but El Corte Ingles does accept Amex, it is a humongous department store which includes a supermarket and other smaller food sections. Stores is going to depend on which, as I said, look for the logo if you absolutely want to pay Amex.
    – Itai
    Aug 28, 2017 at 16:57

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