This Amex feature offers way to pay friends back without fees
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If you’re anything like me, you’re probably the first person to offer to put a shared expense on your credit card. This saves the group time and helps you earn points in the process.
But the hard part comes when it’s time to get paid back. I’ve spent countless hours looking through restaurant receipts, dividing out how much each of my friends owes me and then requesting payment through Venmo — but it doesn’t stop there.
Once I have the funds, I need to make sure I pay back the right credit card. As a budgeting fanatic, this is a tedious process since I use multiple credit cards regularly and track my expenses in a spreadsheet. It’s easy to either pay the wrong card or accidentally let the funds sit in my Venmo balance.
But with American Express’s new Send & Split feature, these hassles are finally a thing of the past.
Amex refreshed Send & Split last year in partnership with Venmo and PayPal. It’s actually a suite of two different features, Amex Send and Amex Split.
On the Split side, it takes care of the entire reimbursement process for you AND lets you keep the points earned from a transaction. You can split the purchase in the Amex app and have your friends reimburse you right to your Amex card.
On the other hand, the Amex Send feature lets you pay others through Venmo or PayPal using your American Express card. You’re not subject to the transaction fees that Venmo or PayPal normally charge when sending a payment using a credit card (but you won’t earn rewards).
In this article, I’ll give you an overview of Send & Split and show you how to use the Amex Send and Amex Split features.
Let’s dive in!
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What is Send & Split?
As discussed, Send & Split is comprised of two features: Amex Send and Amex Split. Here’s a quick overview of both.
Amex Send lets you send money without fees (or rewards)
Amex Send lets you pay friends and family members through Venmo or PayPal using your Amex card.
You won’t pay any processing fees when doing this, but you won’t earn any rewards from your purchase. For reference, Venmo usually charges a 3% fee when you pay someone using your credit card.
Charges will appear like any other charge on your Amex card account. This can make budgeting easier if you want to pay split expenses with your credit card bill, but the lack of earning rewards makes it less exciting for us points and miles fans.
Note that you may be charged a fee if sending money to an international PayPal or Venmo account.
Amex Split makes it easier to get paid back
Thankfully, Amex Split is a bit more exciting.
As discussed, Amex Split lets you get paid back directly to your American Express card using Venmo or PayPal. Just link your Amex account to one of these services (more on that soon) and you can select the “Split It” feature the next time you have a shared expense.
For your friends, the process is no different than responding to any other payment request. They will get a standard Venmo or PayPal request, which they can pay using their linked bank account, credit card or debit card. The only difference is that the payment will go right to your Amex account instead of your Venmo or PayPal balance.
Beyond ease-of-use, another benefit of using Send & Split is that the person who made the charge still gets to keep all the points earned.
So, if you earn 400 points after charging a $100 meal for two to your American Express® Gold Card, you’ll keep the full 400 points after you’re paid back since the card earns 4x on dining at restaurants.
The service is completely free to use
Both of these services are free to use for all Amex cardholders.
The only prerequisite is that you have either a Venmo or PayPal account and enroll in the Send & Split feature. I’ll show you how to do that in the next section.
How to enroll in Send & Split
You can enroll in Send & Split right in the American Express mobile app.
You’ll start by signing into your account and selecting one of your personal cards. Then, select a recent transaction and tap on the “Split It” button. This will bring you to the Send & Split enrollment page.
This screen will give you an overview of the service. Read through the on-screen text and tap the Next button. Then, read through the terms and conditions and tap the Agree and Enroll button to continue.
The Amex app will now ask you to link a Venmo or PayPal account. This is what you’ll use to send and receive money through Split & Save. Tap on the account you’d like to add and follow the on-screen prompts. You can add both accounts if you’d like.
You’ll then be directed back to the transaction you chose to split. The Amex app will ask for access to your phone contacts — you’ll want to allow this in so that you can send payment requests in the future.
And that’s all there is to it! You can now navigate away from your transaction and use both the Amex Send and Amex Split features.
Related: Your ultimate guide to Amex Offers
How to use the Send & Split features
Now that your account is ready to go, let’s look at how to use Send & Split to send and receive money. I’ll start with an overview of Amex Send and then move onto Amex Split.
Sending money with Amex Send
To use Amex Send to send money to friends and family, you need to add money to your Amex Send account.
The money you add to your account will be charged to your Amex account, just like any other purchase. But, again, you won’t earn rewards.
There is a limit on how much money you can add to your Amex Send account at any given time. These limits vary by card — here’s a look:
- Amex Centurion Card: $5,000
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: $4,000
- All other Amex cards: $2,000
It’s worth noting that you can transfer money back to your American Express bill if you don’t use the funds with Amex Send. These refunds are added as a credit to your bill.
You can add money to your Amex Send account by logging into the American Express app and tapping the Account button at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Then, tap on the Amex Send & Split button at the center of the screen.
Tap the Manage Balance button at the center of the screen, then tap the Add Money button. You can select the card you’d like to add funds from at the top of the screen and then choose an amount to add at the center of the screen. Tap the Add button when you’re ready to process.
Now that you have money in your account, tap the Send Money button at the center of the screen. You can then select the contact you’d like to send money to via Venmo or PayPal. Before you send, you’ll be prompted to verify the transaction with your Venmo or PayPal account.
The money will be sent to your contact just like any other Venmo or PayPal transaction. The funds will appear in your contact’s account immediately and can be transferred or otherwise spent.
Requesting money with Amex Split
So, you made a shared purchase with your Amex card and need to get paid back — let’s create your first Amex Split!
Start by locating the transaction you want to split. This can be a transaction that’s already posted to your bill or a pending transaction.
Tap on the Split It button underneath the transaction info. For this example, I’m going to split a $6.08 Bed Bath and Beyond transaction with my girlfriend.
You can now select the contacts you’d like to split the transaction with. You can select multiple contacts if you’d like, making it easy to split large dinner bills or bar tabs. Tap the Next button once selected.
Now, you can view the breakdown of who’s paying what. If you need to factor in a tip or service fee, tap the Adjust Total Amount button and you can customize the requested amount.
Once you’re ready to request, tap the Next button and you’ll be asked if you want the funds to go to your Amex card or Venmo/PayPal account.
Now, you can verify the transaction on Venmo or PayPal and send it. To view the status of your Amex Split transaction, go back to the Send & Split page on your Amex app. You can view all Amex Split transactions and who’s paid you back.
When your friend or family member pays you, it’ll show up as a payment on your Amex account if you opted to have the funds go directly to your bill. It’s as easy as that!
Amex Split is where Send & Split really shines.
This feature makes it exponentially easier to get paid back when splitting costs with friends and family. Payments go right to your Amex card, removing the headache of manually sending Venmo requests and paying the right card.
Better yet, you keep the points earned for charging the transaction to your card. This is a huge benefit when splitting meals, groceries, airfare or hotel stays that earn bonus points when charged to the right Amex card. I do this with my Amex Gold and have racked up thousands of points when getting dinner or drinks with friends.
On the other hand, Amex Send can be a good option for budgeting though it isn’t beneficial from a points and miles perspective. Still, you may want to use it if you want to keep all of your expenses in one place.
Feature photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy
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