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20 Nov 2021

Amazon's Visa credit card ban: should you switch to Mastercard?

Find out which Mastercard credit cards will still be accepted by Amazon in the new year

Amazon shoppers were dealt a blow earlier this week, with the news that the online retailer will no longer accept UK-issued Visa credit cards fromJanuary.

Millions of customers could potentially be affected, as some of the UK's biggest banks use Visa as the payment provider for their credit cards.

Here, Which? explains which credit cards will and won't be affected by the change and the steps you can take if your card will no longer be accepted.

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What can I do if I'm affected?

If you're a regular Amazon user and your Visa credit card will no longer be accepted, one option is to use a debit card instead.

This isn't ideal, however, as credit cards offer enhanced Section 75 protection if something goes wrong.

Another alternative is to switch to a provider that uses an alternative payment network, such as Mastercard or American Express. If you're not getting benefits from your credit card (e.g. cashback, 0% purchase or balance transfer deals), then now might be a good time to assess whether it's worth taking your business elsewhere. However, you should bear in mind that applications for a new credit card are likely to impact your credit score.

If you're happy with your provider, it might be worth waiting to see whether this all blows over and the two sides resolve their differences between now and January.

Which banks issue Mastercard credit cards?

Whether you'll be affected by the change depends on which payment network your bank uses for its credit cards.

You can tell this by the logo on your card.

The vast majority of providers use Mastercard, which will still be accepted on Amazon's UK site. There are some notable exceptions, however - First Direct, Barclaycard, HSBC, Nationwide, and Vanquis all issue Visa credit cards.

You can find out which payment provider your bank uses for its credit cards in the table below. The table is sorted alphabetically by the provider, and the links take you through to our free reviews.

Credit card providerPayment network
American ExpressAmerican Express
British AirwaysAmerican Express
Capital OneMastercard
First DirectVisa

How to find a good credit card deal

There are lots of different credit cards options out there, from 0% purchase cards to overseas spending cards.

We're here to help you find the right deal for you. Our guides to the best credit card deals contain details of the best cards currently on the market.

Amazon's Visa ban: what's happening?

From 19 January 2020, Amazon will no longer accept Visa credit cards on its UK website. Visa debit cards and credit cards that use other payment networks (such as Mastercard) will still be accepted.

The move comes after Visa announced it will increase its 'interchange fee' for payments from UK customers to EU merchants. Amazon's European headquarters is located in Luxembourg.

The interchange fee covers the costs of sending money from the consumer's bank to the retailer's bank, and Visa announced earlier this year that its fee for some payments will increase fivefold to 1.5%.

Will the two sides resolve the dispute?

With a couple of months remaining until the ban comes into force, there's still a chance that the dispute could be resolved - with Visa suggesting that dialogue remains open.

In a statement, Amazon said: 'The cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers.

'These costs should be going down over time, with technological advancements, but, instead, they continue to stay high or even rise.'

A Visa spokesperson said the company is 'very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice', but that it will 'continue to work toward a resolution'.