NEW YORK—On September 10, Christie’s announced a new agreement with American Express that will enable auction buyers to pay for certain purchases with an American Express card. Christie’s has established transaction limits for cardholders that allow credit-card purchases in what is called the “middle-market range,” from $3,000 to $80,000.
The program was given a test run at the auction house’s Hong Kong branch, which began taking American Express cards in 2007. The agreement was then rolled out to Christie’s branches worldwide with the September 3–5 Interiors sale in New York.
“Clients have increasingly been requesting that we accept credit cards,” Fern Thomas, senior vice president and finance director at Christie’s Americas, told ARTnewsletter.
According to a statement from the auction house, clients “are asked to contact Christie’s directly to confirm” the amounts that they would be permitted to put on a credit card.
Before this agreement between Christie’s and American Express, buyers have paid for items bought at auction with checks or by wire transfer, and credit or charge cards have only been accepted for the purchase of auction catalogues, according to an auction house representative.