What is American Express Safekey (All You Need to Know!)

what is american express safekey

Do you know what American Express Safekey is? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Online shopping has become a massive force in today’s retail market, making credit cards more essential than ever. However, nefarious types can also take advantage of online transactions to snatch your sensitive information from the web. Luckily, American Express protects your information with American Express Safekey. 

American Express Safekey is a safety measure used to authenticate transactions made using your American Express card online. American Express Safekey confirms your identity with a two-factor method, utilizing a One-Time Code (OTC) sent to your mobile device or email address and/or your three-digit Card Security Code. 

Now that you know what it is, you may have other questions—how does it work? Where is this function supported? Does this protect you from fraud? And how do you sign up for American Express Safekey in the first place?

Well, if you’re interested in finding the answers to those questions and more, keep reading! 

How does American Express Safekey work?

American Express Safekey protects your online transactions by confirming your identity with a One-Time Code (OTC).

Two-factor authentication methods like these work by sending the OTC to another device or account that you also own, ensuring the one making the transaction is you. 

For example:

  • You enter your payment information online at a merchant that supports American Express Safekey
  • The American Express Safekey window will automatically appear. The window will indicate a masked phone number or email address where the OTC was sent. Depending on the service used, you may also have to enter your three-digit Card Security Code.
  • Retrieve the OTC from your respective device.
  • Enter the OTC into the window to authenticate your purchase.

Read also >> How to Use Amex Points for Air Travel (All You Need to Know!)

Will American Express Safekey ask for an OTC with every purchase?

Not necessarily. Sometimes, American Express Safekey will process transactions without requiring any user input. They’re always working in the background to keep you safe!

How long is my OTC valid for?

Your OTC is valid for approximately ten minutes after it’s sent to you. This time limit adds an additional layer of security to the process, ensuring your codes can’t be collected and used after an extended period. 

Read also >> Can You Withdraw Money From A Credit Card Without A PIN?

What if my OTC was sent to the wrong email address or phone number?

When you’re making a purchase and the American Express Safekey window pops up, it will display a masked email address or phone number indicating where the OTC was sent.

But what if this email address or phone number is not current? 

You can conveniently update this information right here! Click the “Update Now” button in the American Express Safekey window and follow the prompts. You will have to answer your security questions before updating your information. 

Once your email address and phone number have been updated, a new OTC will be sent out. Please contact American Express Customer Service if you continue to experience issues.

Once you have updated this information, it will be updated across all American Express platforms, so you don’t have to worry about doing it again! 

What if I don’t have an email address or phone number on file with American Express?

American Express Safekey requires an email address or phone number to authenticate online purchases. 

Suppose you do not have this information updated on your account. In that case, you will be able to use your American Express card to complete online transactions the first two times you encounter Safekey without entering this information. 

However, when you make a purchase using Safekey for the third time, you will be prompted to enter your email address and phone number to authenticate your identity. 

How do I change my information with American Express Safekey?

There are a few convenient ways to update your personal information with American Express Safekey.

  • Call the Customer Service number located on the back of your American Express card
  • Log in to your Amex Profile online
  • By clicking on the “Update Now” prompt when the OTC entry window displays during the checkout process 
  • If you update your profile information using any available method through American Express,  these changes will automatically apply to your American Express Safekey account

How do I check to see if my email address and phone number are current?

You can check to see if the email address and phone number you have on file with American Express Safekey are accurate by logging into your profile on your American Express Online account or by calling the Customer Service number on the back of your American Express card. 

If you need to update any of this information, you can make these changes using the same methods. For more information, just scroll up!

Does American Express provide supplemental online fraud protection?

Yes! American Express Safekey is part of Amex’s plan to protect their customers, working alongside their existing Fraud Protection Guarantee. 

As long as you’ve taken reasonable steps to protect your PIN and other personal information, American Express won’t hold you responsible for fraudulent charges on your American Express card. 

Do you have to register for American Express Safekey?

No! If you are an American Express cardholder, you are automatically enrolled in the American Express Safekey service. If you apply for new cards, you also do not need to take any additional steps.

However, it is crucial to ensure your email address and phone number are kept up to date, as this is how Safekey works. Want to update your information? Keep reading for those details! 

Do you have to pay for American Express Safekey?

There’s no extra charge for the American Express Safekey service! So you don’t have to worry about keeping up a subscription or any additional charges for this protection.

if you have an American Express card, it’s working for you!  

Do all merchants use American Express Safekey?

Not all online shops currently support American Express Safekey. If you’re looking for merchants with American Express Safekey support, you’ll find the American Express Safekey logo on their website.

For online merchants who don’t support American Express Safekey, other protective measures will be in place, such as requiring the input of your three-digit Card Security Code when you make a purchase.

Merchants who support American Express Safekey may require your OTC or your three-digit Card Security Code along with your OTC.



Marissa K.

Hi! I'm Marissa. A personal finance nerd, content writer, and Managing Editor. I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to save, make and invest extra money. So, helping you to live your dream life!

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