Friday, August 19, 2005

Credit Card charge requirements $5 $10

UPDATE: Due to an agreement that the credit card companies made, vendors are now allowed to charge for fees if you use a credit card.

CORRECTION: This post originally stated a falsehood which I thought was fact at the time. California law does not regulate credit card charges, nor can it. This is solely in the realm of the Federal Government. The truth is that the Card Card companies themselves have restrictions on when a fee can be charged. No fee is allowed for amounts greater than $1. If you come across a store that is charging a fee for any amount greater than $1, report that place of business to your credit card companies.

Original Post:

California has a law that makes it illegal for any place that accepts credit or charge cards to either have a minimum charge or to charge a fee for credit card use. Some stores or restaurants owners a dumb enough to actually post this policy (which is also separately illegal, in of itself). But more savvy owners will simply notify you of their fee when you try to use your credit/charge card for an amount below their supposed minimum. Either way, it's still illegal for them to do so.
If these places are encountered, simply refuse to pay the fee or refuse to accept their minimum. Remind then that they are breaking the law. Remind them that you are not in their place of business as a slave, but there as the customer. You don't need their produce, but they need your money. They don't need the trouble you can stir up by contacting the Better Business Bureau or class action lawsuits can come up from this sort of thing.
Ask them if all that is really worth the 25, 50 or 75 cent fee. Don't be afraid to make a big scene out of it.
Some of these store owners are under the strange impression that they deserve your money simply because you come into their store. They just need to be reminded that they have to earn the right to get your money.


Anonymous said...

Here's my tiny rant for my credit card, bank card thing.

My brother's bad for this: using his card to buy a $5 item somewhere. Like a pizza slice.

I can somewhat understand the perspective from the stores. When a customer uses a card on say, a $5 item, the store is charged a fee by the banks that give them interac access for the transaction. So that $5 sale becomes less. So I can kind of understand why they'd want a max and min, and some exra fee to the customer.

At the same time, depending on your dealings with your bank and credit card conpany, any card transaction you make, they charge a fee.

For that $5 item, say you end up paying the fee from the store, and the other fee, you've spent more.

With today's growing problem of fradulant stores' interac machines, and ATM machines, I personally never use my cards.

By using cash, I avoid the store's fee, avoid the other card's fee. Simple as that.

The only time I would ever use a card, would be buying a larger price purchase than the $5, or in an event of an emergency.

fcsuper said...

The counter point I have is that the credit card fee is about 1.5% regardless of purchase price, so any fee by the stores is still ridiculous

fcsuper said...

Just as an update: It's not California law. The credit card companies themselves have a requirement that stores do not charge for the use of their credit cards.