Can I block prepaid American Express Cards?

A merchant asked if we can block prepaid American Express cards for card not present transactions. The logic is that customers are using regular credit cards for single purchase transactions, but using a prepaid card for recurring billing transactions.  This is a huge problem for membership clubs, infomercial companies and any time that a customer makes multiple payments for an item or service that they receive the benefits for upfront.

For service companies, it’s often months before they realize they can no longer charge the customers card. For informercials, the product goes out, but the merchant only has one payment. Both are getting ripped off by customers who don’t complete payments per their agreement because the prepaid card has no money left on it.

Currently we’re not aware of any service provider who can support prepaid Amex card blocking AT THIS WRITING because American Express will not release the BIN number details needed to effectively achieve this. There are ways to minimize prepaid card issues though. Using a scrubbing service or a hosted payment processing platform, merchants have choices for accepting and blocking specific payment types. Unlike post- sale solutions, we kill the sale immediately, forcing the customer to choose another card. Merchants can block the majority of other prepaid cards with this service.

For those seeking to buy a list of prepaid card bin numbers, no, we do not offer that and never will.