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Old 01-29-2013, 04:01 PM   #41
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Essential monopolies know you have no choice to not be their customer, so they don't have to. There is no financial incentive for them to "eat" credit card fees, unlike businesses with competition or businesses that could lose your business.
Right, but an efficiently run government entity (I know, I know . . .) would do the analysis and see how much could be saved by taking credit cards online instead of a check in person and charge customers according to the real costs of processing the transaction (including the employee compensation at the counter, etc).

I think I should get a discount for renewing my vehicle registration online (no matter how I pay) rather than going in to see the clerk. I fill in all the forms for them, check/fix my address for them, handle the payment for them, etc. I save about 5 minutes of employee time, the overhead of the local DMV office, etc.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:11 PM   #42
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Commercial Banking - my former employer is with BofA. The commercial banking fee structure is completely different from our individual relationship with a bank. We had to pay the bank 2 1/2 ¢ for each check deposited. Also had to pay them the same for each ACH transaction - in or out. We had to pay a fee for them to bring us rolled coin to use at our public service counter. This is in addition to the cost for processing checks (NO "free checking"). And on and on. IIRC, our monthly banking fees ran somewhere north of $20,000 ... per month. We beat them down and beat them down on the fees... it was a never ending batle to keep the costs under control. At one point we seriously looked at Wells Fargo, but the fees were going to be so similar, and the internal cost to convert was so great that there just were not enough savings to justify it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:19 PM   #43
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I believe there are still ten states which will not allow it, with three of the most populous states -- California, Texas and New York -- among those which will not permit it under their existing laws.

I always heard that, too - here in California. But, there is one place where I do see it - gas stations in the area (ARCO especially) have different prices posted for cash/charge. Don't know how/why they can do that.

And if you go debit, they do a flat fee of 45¢.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:37 PM   #44
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I always heard that, too - here in California. But, there is one place where I do see it - gas stations in the area (ARCO especially) have different prices posted for cash/charge. Don't know how/why they can do that.
A loophole in most credit card agreements traditionally forbade "credit card surcharges" but allows cash discounts. Yes, it's the same thing functionally, but the language of the agreement allows one but not the other.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:41 PM   #45
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A loophole in most credit card agreements traditionally forbade "credit card surcharges" but allows cash discounts. Yes, it's the same thing functionally, but the language of the agreement allows one but not the other.

True.

Cash (& Debit) are the same. It is Credit that is up $0.10 - $0.15 per gallon. And the "cash" price is similar to those who do not add on a crecit card fee.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:01 PM   #46
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DW had a very small retail store (way under $1mil) in sales. She was able to run her credit charges through an "association" of like retailers for something like 2.1%. Previously, she actually had a "house charge" policy. Now, all new customers who want to charge must use a CC. Those (old, old) folks with the house charge are still allowed to use it until they die or prove unworthy of the credit. Now, the point is that a very small business that has a savvy manager can get 2.1% credit card service. I'm guessing the "bigs" are less than 2% - approaching 1% for really bigs. DW did the math. For CERTAIN, she came out ahead using CCs at 2.1% charges vs house accounts. AND 2.1% allowed her to rarely have more than a couple of hundred dollars in cash on hand - which was her limit for making a cash deposit to the bank at close of business (one employee taking 1/2 an hour to do so on average plus vehicle costs). Also, discriminating robbers only hold up cash businesses. In short, her math showed that her total costs of handling "money" were best served by USING CC. She would prefer them to cash. Her discounts were for those who took purchases with them rather than having them delivered. It was called "cash and carry", but CC were just as good as cash.

So applying this to the OP, it would seem a "cash discount" or a "charge for credit" is probably limited to about 2% if merchants aren't also passing on other costs-of-handling money. The CC charges are very small.

The first time a merchant says he will charge me for credit, I will leave all my purchases at the counter and walk away. I will continue to do so until either 1) the merchant changes policy back or 2) all merchants carrying the same items at similar prices adopt a pay-for-CC policy or 3) I can't live without the purchase (whichever of these comes LAST). Naturally, YMMV.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:05 PM   #47
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[QUOTE=Koolau;1277651]The first time a merchant says he will charge me for credit, I will leave all my purchases at the counter and walk away./QUOTE]

+1
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:41 PM   #48
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A loophole in most credit card agreements traditionally forbade "credit card surcharges" but allows cash discounts. Yes, it's the same thing functionally, but the language of the agreement allows one but not the other.
Here in MA I deal with this at a local gas station. The MA law reads

“No seller…may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means.”
Statute:*Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 140D, § 28A(a)(2) (West)

Discounts for Cash Payments are allowed in Massachusetts
Discount offered to induce payment by cash, check or other means not involving a credit card not considered a finance charge if offered to all prospective buyers and disclosed clearly and conspicuously.
Statute:*Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 140D, § 28A(b) (West)

It is disclosed on the pump, but the tall sign of the gas station shows the "cash" price, which would suggest that it's a surcharge, not a discount, but it's a common practice, not (yet) prosecuted.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:21 PM   #49
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Just look at Discover card. It has never really caught on.
I just wish all of my investments had done as well as Discover Card (DFS).
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:47 PM   #50
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Here are the "big 4"
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:10 PM   #51
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DW had a very small retail store (way under $1mil) in sales. She was able to run her credit charges through an "association" of like retailers for something like 2.1%. ...

For CERTAIN, she came out ahead using CCs at 2.1% charges vs house accounts. AND 2.1% allowed her to rarely have more than a couple of hundred dollars in cash on hand - which was her limit for making a cash deposit to the bank at close of business (one employee taking 1/2 an hour to do so on average plus vehicle costs). Also, discriminating robbers only hold up cash businesses. In short, her math showed that her total costs of handling "money" were best served by USING CC. She would prefer them to cash. ....
Thanks Koolau; good to hear input from someone who has actually 'been there'.

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:20 PM   #52
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According to what I read, Amex and Discover do not allow merchant fees to be charged to their customers. Also, Visa & MC do not allow their merchants to have varying credit card policies. Since 10 states will not allow these fees this means that any company doing business in those states (meaning all large chains) won't be able to charge these fees. Also the fees are not allowed on debit cards. Having said that, I predict seeing alot of new discounts for cash offered (since that's always allowed) and some smaller retailers trying to charge the fee even when they're not supposed to.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:35 PM   #53
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When I went for grocery shopping today, I was at 2 different stores, I was not charged an extra amount, and I was not in one of those 10 states. But how long would that last before they have to change the policy because of lawsuits from cash customers? That change likely will be cash customers get a cash discount.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:21 AM   #54
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Here in MA I deal with this at a local gas station. The MA law reads

“No seller…may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means.”
Statute:*Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 140D, § 28A(a)(2) (West)

Discounts for Cash Payments are allowed in Massachusetts
Discount offered to induce payment by cash, check or other means not involving a credit card not considered a finance charge if offered to all prospective buyers and disclosed clearly and conspicuously.
Statute:*Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 140D, § 28A(b) (West)

It is disclosed on the pump, but the tall sign of the gas station shows the "cash" price, which would suggest that it's a surcharge, not a discount, but it's a common practice, not (yet) prosecuted.

To me, this is the worst that a gas station can do... I will not buy gas from a station that does this.... I have left a few when I find out that they are not being honest....
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:24 AM   #55
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According to what I read, Amex and Discover do not allow merchant fees to be charged to their customers. Also, Visa & MC do not allow their merchants to have varying credit card policies. Since 10 states will not allow these fees this means that any company doing business in those states (meaning all large chains) won't be able to charge these fees. Also the fees are not allowed on debit cards. Having said that, I predict seeing alot of new discounts for cash offered (since that's always allowed) and some smaller retailers trying to charge the fee even when they're not supposed to.

Just my thinking... and only a guess.... but I bet that since the CC companies agreed to the fee they will not be able to use that clause about varying credit card policies...
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:34 PM   #56
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It is disclosed on the pump, but the tall sign of the gas station shows the "cash" price, which would suggest that it's a surcharge, not a discount, but it's a common practice, not (yet) prosecuted.
We have a local station that posts (on the large sign) the price you pay/gallon IF you get your car washed, which is lower than the pump price. We got fooled a couple times, but haven't ever gone back since.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:41 PM   #57
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For those who make a lot of out-of-state internet/mail order purchases, my questions are, if the consumer lives in one of the 10 excluded states, but the vendor is in one of the 40 states that can add a surcharge, which state's law applies?

Can the consumer be charged the surcharge, and must they pay it?

Does it make a difference if it's electronic (internet/web) vs. snail mail-order?

Tyro
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:57 PM   #58
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For those who make a lot of out-of-state internet/mail order purchases, my questions are, if the consumer lives in one of the 10 excluded states, but the vendor is in one of the 40 states that can add a surcharge, which state's law applies?

Can the consumer be charged the surcharge, and must they pay it?

Does it make a difference if it's electronic (internet/web) vs. snail mail-order?

Tyro
This is just a WAG, but I think the merchant can go by his local law... can't force him to follow every state law...
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:02 PM   #59
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I believe this will likely only hurt small business. I love the convenience of using a CC (not to mention the travel rewards that go with it). The big boys won't make any changes. Small business probably will. But, one thing they need to be careful about is it is much harder to part people with cash than it is to swipe their CC and let them deal with it later. In essence, if everyone is saving 2-3% by paying in cash, is there an unintended consequence of flipping a bulk of your customers from paying with a credit card to paying in cash? I think it will be people being more cautious with their greenbacks, which in turn hurts the business as well. Especially those merchants which offer "wants" or luxury items.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:12 PM   #60
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I believe this will likely only hurt small business. I love the convenience of using a CC (not to mention the travel rewards that go with it). The big boys won't make any changes. Small business probably will. But, one thing they need to be careful about is it is much harder to part people with cash than it is to swipe their CC and let them deal with it later. In essence, if everyone is saving 2-3% by paying in cash, is there an unintended consequence of flipping a bulk of your customers from paying with a credit card to paying in cash? I think it will be people being more cautious with their greenbacks, which in turn hurts the business as well. Especially those merchants which offer "wants" or luxury items.

I was just thinking about the time saving for the merchant when I went to lunch... was at Chipolte and the line was moving at a good clip with everybody paying with a card... then someone pulled out cash... and it took at least 2X and probably closer to 4X the time to check him out... that would back up the line big time for a place that needs quick volume like a fast food place...

Not so much for a small mom and pop who might only get a few customers every hour...
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