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Surcharge for Credit Card Payment?
Old 08-14-2007, 10:27 PM   #1
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Surcharge for Credit Card Payment?

I'm on vacation on the Oregon coast and got hit for a 50 cent surcharge for paying with a credit card. Don't merchants have to agree to accept the credit card same as cash?

Not a lot of money, but it doesn't seem right. :confused:
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:36 PM   #2
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Nope, they don't have to agree to that. I was surprised to find out that if I want to pay my utility bill via credit card they'll charge me an extra $4.95, and around here some of the gas stations give a "discount" for paying with cash.

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I'm on vacation on the Oregon coast and got hit for a 50 cent surcharge for paying with a credit card. Don't merchants have to agree to accept the credit card same as cash?

Not a lot of money, but it doesn't seem right. :confused:
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:17 AM   #3
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I take cards (and hate them), but no they do not. In fact, paying by card instead of cash is really screwing a business as they have to pay a % of that sale, possible swipe fees, internet connections (at commercial rates) etc etc etc. If you have a local mom and pop shop you love, always pay with cash there and you will really help them out.

One reason so many places charge a surcharge for American Express is they can push 4% sometimes.

I have a friend that owns a gas station PW, and they hardly make anything on gas (the Giant oil corporation makes the cash when he buys it from them), and many times with changing gas prices, he can actually LOOSE money from people paying with credit cards. I remember he sent me a article a few weeks ago about a Shell franchisee I think that refuses to sell gas at his place now as it does not make money.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:40 AM   #4
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Very true... I read an article that talked about how when people spread those "Don't buy gas on this specific day" emails, it doesn't hurt the oil companies because the oil supply is so huge that a single day of no purchases doesn't actually cause any ripples.

However, since most gas stations make the majority of their money on food/sodas/snacks, when people buy less gas (such as a gas strike), they end up only hurting the owners of the individual gas stations and having no effect on the corporations.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:48 AM   #5
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yea the oil companies could care less, as the gas station owners have already bought their gas for the month.

What people should do is boycott corporate owned gas stations, and buy their gas from the franchisees, the big boys would still get their cut, but loosing sales in the corporate stores would actually hurt.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:55 AM   #6
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That's one way to do it. I'm just reducing my gas consumption considerably... right now have a reasonably fuel efficient car that I drive very little, and when this one eventually dies we're going to go with one of the alternative options available at that time.

Eventually I'd also like to have the home off the grid, but that won't be the home we're moving into next month since there's too much tree cover (of course we also don't have to worry about A/C in the summer since the shade keeps the place cool enough).
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:41 AM   #7
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I love a cash-discount / credit-surcharge and go out of my way to solicit businesses that give them so as to discourage the credit oligopolies.

I think it is perfectly proper for a business to charge differently depending on payment type. For instance, some businesses with high cash carrying cost might charge more for cash payments.

I wish more businesses would do this. I am tired of subsidizing cash back for credit card holders (of which I am one).

Kramer
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:53 AM   #8
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yea the oil companies could care less, as the gas station owners have already bought their gas for the month.

What people should do is boycott corporate owned gas stations, and buy their gas from the franchisees, the big boys would still get their cut, but loosing sales in the corporate stores would actually hurt.

Since we pay around 10 cents a gallon here, filling up is more of an inconvenience then a pocketbook crimper.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:55 AM   #9
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County Real Estate Tax payments have been surcharged for years if payment is via a Credit Card. ACH payments can avoid all of that nonsense.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:42 AM   #10
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When I took credit cards, I had to agree not to charge more for a credit card transaction. I also checked a year or so ago with Mastercard, and they confirmed that companies were not allowed to charge a surcharge.

I wanted to pay college tuition with credit card and get 1% back. But the college (tuitionpay.com actually) charged 3% extra for that privilege. MC confirmed that they were very naughty.

Paying for everything with credit card is such a great way to track expenses, and have things automatically categorized by Quicken. It's true that merchants pay a hefty price, but they do get a lot in return. I'd never regularly visit a gas station that doesn't let me pay at the pump. I would not be retired now if my online business had not accepted credit cards.

BTW, we save 10 cents per gallon by using Renner "cardlock" stations, that charge us once a month (and I have that automatically paid by credit card).
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Old 09-29-2007, 12:15 PM   #11
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I know when the Visa/MC first signed up vendors, there was a no discount for cash provision in their contract. I believe the business has gotten so competitive that these provisions are no longer enforced. There might have even been a federal lawsuit relating to restraint of trade that made such enforcement illegal.

I know there were lawsuits related to their national debit cards that retailers won.
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Old 09-29-2007, 12:50 PM   #12
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While the IRS will now accept payment by credit card, you will pay a surcharge to cover the cost of the transaction.
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It's the norm for Europe...
Old 10-05-2007, 04:33 PM   #13
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It's the norm for Europe...

DW /I just returned from a 2-week riverboat cruise on the Danube. Started in Budapest (Hungary), north to Bratislava (Slovakia), Vienna (Austria), Nuremberg (Germany), and overland to Prague (Czech Republic).

Other than Austria/Germany (who use the Euro), the other countries required use of their local currency (sometimes they took the Euro, but gave a bad rate for a purchase).

I used a Visa credit card for all purchases (primarily meals). When I checked my account, I was charged a 3% fee for currency conversion; however I was pleasantly surprised to see that the local currency was converted to the current $$ rate. This was better than the local "money changers" who used a 7-11% conversion rate (but no additional fee! ) if you wanted to convert $$$ directly.

It was a good deal, and didn't require me to "retain" any unused local currency (which would have cost me again, to revert to $$$).

When the noted eastern European countries convert to the euro (target is within 5 years) it will make it much easier, since I normally keep unspent Euros for the next time we go to Europe.

BTW, I did get Euros from an ATM in both Austria and Germany and they charged a 1% conversion fee (but no charge for the ATM use).

The fees are reasonable for the ease of transactions in this case.

- Ron
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:59 PM   #14
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RS.... not to give business to another bank... but Capital One does not even charge the 3%.... maybe they will change soon as most banks don't let a fee go by if they can help it.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:56 PM   #15
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RS.... not to give business to another bank... but Capital One does not even charge the 3%.... maybe they will change soon as most banks don't let a fee go by if they can help it.
I use the Fidelity Visa, which deposits 1.5% of all purchases to my Fidelity IMA account. Since I only spend a few weeks in Europe every year, the fee's are not really a concern to me. If I was charged a fee within the US, I would certaily start "using paper" (cash) instead of "plastic" (charge)

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Old 10-06-2007, 06:44 PM   #16
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One of the benefits to merchants for accepting credit cards is that many people spend more than if they were using cash.
That may not apply to those on this board - we are too smart for that!
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:50 PM   #17
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I think those d*** gift cards cause users to spend more and merchants to earn more. Even the stores are sending them out. This week I got a card from a store that says I get $25 off if it spend $50 in the store AND I can get another $30 off if I spend $150 at their on-line site. Ever try to just spend the exact amount? It is very difficult but heck they will let you spend MORE just to get the discount.
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