American Express has required their merchants to do a bit of clerical work that became effective Jan 1st. Unfortunately they did not effectively communicate this to all their merchants. So some merchants ( not me as I do not accept it anyway) have been caught unaware of a new requirement to withhold 28% of the funds for some reason. Not sure about ANY of the details, but a few folks that I know will not be accepting the cards until this is cleared up. Best to check before you make any purchases. Should be back to normal in a few weeks as I am sure everyone is motivated to clear this up.