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(MSN)   Those of you who think you're so smart when use your credit card to rack up reward points, stores are on to you. Get ready for the "Credit Card Checkout Fee"   (money.msn.com) divider line 36
    More: Obvious, credit cards, interchange fee, issuing bank, MasterCard, Consumer Action, rewards programs, visas  
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19715 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jan 2013 at 9:40 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-01-22 07:12:01 PM
10 votes:
Actually, the store's cost for handling credit cards is already rolled into their prices, and therefore they charge you even if you pay cash.
2013-01-22 10:13:16 PM
4 votes:
Prior to the early-90's or so this was standard procedure everywhere. You had to pay extra to use credit cards. It's when they stopped those fees that credit cards really took off and credit card companies became big cheese.

If they start charging those fees again I'll just go back to cash like I did in the 80's. Or just not buy stuff at all unless I really need it. If the businesses and credit card companies don't want my money, fine, fark 'em.

No is no way in hell I'm paying yet another tax. We're all getting nickel and dimed to death. Everyone these days it digging their chunk out of my pockets. We're getting less stuff than ever for the same amount of money or the prices are inching up. Meanwhile us consumers are strapped and trying to save money. Which makes companies increase prices, cut quality, cut quantity, etc. so they can meet ever increasing budgets and profit margins. Which causes people to cut back and around we go. The whole thing is going to collapse.
2013-01-22 07:10:45 PM
4 votes:
So basically the banks are like, "let's shake down our customers for some more money."  Ok, that was nice, now let's come up with a new idea, "let's find a different way to shake down our customers for more money"...etc etc
2013-01-22 11:32:39 PM
3 votes:
People, this is a good thing. If you stop your fatalist grumbling and look at the situation objective for two minutes, you'd see that.

Here's what used to happen:
1. One of the conditions the credit processors have for using their system is that retailers are not allowed to add a surcharge for credit cards, with a small number of exceptions.
2. Because the transaction charge is mostly hidden to consumers, consumers will make selections of what credit cards to use irrespective of the processing fee.
3. Therefore, the credit processors are essentially free of competitive pressure when setting transaction fees: the only thing acting against higher fees is business refusing to accept credit cards altogether.

In a few days, when retailers are allowed to add a surcharge for credit cards, here is what will happen:
1. The credit charge suddenly becomes visible to the consumer.
2. Because consumers are potentially responsible for the fees, they will start to gravitate toward credit cards with lower transaction fees.
3. Therefore, credit transaction fees will get lower overall as credit issuers compete to issue cards with lower fees.
4. Things like rewards programs will go away, since those rewards are generally funded by higher transaction fees.

Who wins?
Consumers, especially those who pay cash, but even those who pay credit, and retailers. Thanks to competition, the amout of overhead that goes to credit processors and issuers is going to be a less overall, meaning that retailers will get higher margins and consumers will get a bit more for their money. And consumers who pay only cash will really benefit since they're no longer subsidizing credit card users.

Who loses?
The credit processors, but they deserve it after decades of anticompetitive practices. The credit issuers (banks and such) who will not collect as many royalties from the processors, and probably won't be issuing as much credit since some consumers will opt out of using credit cards.

Seems like a good thing to me. So the next time a retailer add a surcharge for credit, don't be a nearsighted grumbler, but realize that long term that charge helps you.

/on-line convenience fees, OTOH....
2013-01-22 10:51:34 PM
2 votes:

GAT_00: dugitman: GAT_00: Why?  Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.  And if the only grocery in your area does it, what are you going to do?

I've been a business owner for 20 years and make a modest living selling product to customers for reasonable prices. I also have (essentially) the only specialty stores of my kind in the area. I'm proactive in the community, spend locally as much as possible, and contract out any work I need with customers able to do it. Most small business owners are much like me. Not some kind of Uruk Hai  scouts for the local Chamber of Commerce

Flab: GAT_00: dugitman: I would be surprised if they do.

Why?  Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.  And if the only grocery in your area does it, what are you going to do?

There's more than one grocery store - including a farmer's market - in my area, so this hypothetical scenario will remain just that, but for the sake of playing along....  I would wait until the only grocery in my area* does it before getting my panties in a bunch, at which point, I would figure out if it's cheaper to withdraw a certain amount in cash from the bank every month for groceries.  In the meantime, I will continue to use my credit card as much as I can since I rake in 2-3 times more reward dollars than the annual fee.

But you charge as much as you can without dropping demand, right?  That's the basic tenet of capitalism.  Maximize your profit as much as possible.  That's all capitalism is when you come down to it.  So if you don't have competition, why wouldn't you enact this fee?  If you can get more money from the fee than you lose in customers, why wouldn't you?


Thought it for a long time, but never cared enough to comment. GAT you're an idiot.
2013-01-22 09:59:50 PM
2 votes:
There's a cost to handling cash too, including the extra risks of robbery that comes from sitting on a lot of cash, armored car pickups, employee theft, employee mistakes, and extra time required to handle cash.
2013-01-22 09:55:59 PM
2 votes:

Tom_Slick: Just like my stupid power company, pay online $2.00 fee, take $98.00 in ones and change to the drive through, no additional fee.


SCREW THIS. i AM GOING ALL BILLY MAYS NOW. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO END IMMEDIATELY. THE BANK I HAVE MY CAR LOAN THROUGH CHARGES ME A $5 CONVENIENCE FEE TO PAY ONLINE. IT SAVES THEM MONEY, YET I GET PUNISHED. NOW THEY GET A PIECE OF PAPER WITH A MONEY ORDER INSIDE WRAPPED IN DUCT TAPE 20 TIMES OVER. THIS SHIAT REALLY NEEDS TO STOP YOU GREEDY BASTARDS.
2013-01-22 09:51:22 PM
2 votes:
Just like my stupid power company, pay online $2.00 fee, take $98.00 in ones and change to the drive through, no additional fee.
2013-01-22 08:44:21 PM
2 votes:

bingethinker: Actually, the store's cost for handling credit cards is already rolled into their prices, and therefore they charge you even if you pay cash.


Which won't stop any of them from taking the fee on anyway.
2013-01-22 08:29:28 PM
2 votes:
Some stores around me do this already, except they call it a "cash discount" instead.

These fees are a real cost to retailers though, so I support this. I know the cheapest gas station near me by far is consistently the one that does not allow credit card purchases (the machines only accept debit cards or cash).
2013-01-23 11:24:04 AM
1 votes:

GAT_00: Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.


Who knew that GAT_00 was independently wealthy? Because surely he doesn't have a job working for a business or own one himself...if he did, that would make him a hypocritical farkstain of truly heroic proportions.

I've had that asshole on his own special color for quite sometime. Nice to see the decision vindicated...well...pretty much every time he posts something.
2013-01-23 11:05:28 AM
1 votes:

feckingmorons: GAT_00: dugitman: I would be surprised if they do.

Why?  Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.  And if the only grocery in your area does it, what are you going to do?

Yes, all business are corrupt, greedy farks. And you wonder why I think you're a conspiracy nut.

/not that you can see this as you have me on ignore


Comments like his make me laugh insofar as I regularly sit in meetings where we determine how we can raise our profit margins without harming our customers. That is, where we try to figure how to reasonably make more money without being greedy or corrupt. We are by no means a small company, we just know that if we treat our customers right, it is possible to still be the favorite providers, and for us to still profit. Does that mean our profit margins will regularly run absurd percentages a year? No. Like most places, we've accepted declining profit margins, as they are industry wide. Instead, we try to figure out how we can improve things internally and externally without reaming the people who rely on us for their businesses to function properly -- that is, the customers who keep our business afloat.

And that said, every place I've worked except one has been the exact same way, from pissant bars and retail locations to larger tech organizations. I don't know where all these "evil, greedy" businesses are other than the biggest of the big on Wall Street, but for those of us who are companies with less than 100 million in revenue a year (read: the vast majority of every company in the US), being evil, greedy bastards means that we're going to lose in the long run, not just monetarily, but also in the way our customers view us.

To all of you "All businesses are evil!" people out there, when the economy took a nose dive and we lost literally over 50% of our yearly revenue, all of us who made the most took voluntary paycuts, and we cut back on expenses (especially in my area -- weep!), so that not a single employee lost their jobs. If you pulled your head out of your ass, you'd realize a lot of SMBs did the same thing. Many business owners are good people who care not just about their paychecks, but also their company and their employees. Just because you aren't a business owner or know one personally doesn't mean that every single person out there is evil.
2013-01-23 12:21:14 AM
1 votes:

crabsno termites: Fano: Tom_Slick: Just like my stupid power company, pay online $2.00 fee, take $98.00 in ones and change to the drive through, no additional fee.

I know that setting up a website and maintaining it costs money, but I find it extremely hard to believe it's not cheaper for a company to take online than paying some schlub to sit at a desk all day opening letters with checks in them. Or to have a payment counter, which they again, have to pay for cash registers and a guy who won't pocket the money.

Pacific Power charges flat $5.00 fee for credit card payment, regardless of amount of bill. farking scam. Always mail it ($.42 with forever stamps) on last day since "Timely mailed is timely paid" and don't give a fark what your accounting department says ("must be receive by . . .). Never a problem since I always tell them to "Cut my power off - you need me more than I need you". ITG - damn, it feels good.


I liked when credit card companies were biatching about a law saying that the postmark, not when the payment was received, would determine if payment was late. The claim was that lazy goodfornothings would be cheating them of late fees. I had a friend whose check was mailed with plenty of time, only to be hit with a late fee when the check apparently spent a week working its way through the mail department of the credit card company.
2013-01-23 12:17:20 AM
1 votes:

stiletto_the_wise: aerojockey: Who wins?
Consumers, especially those who pay cash, but even those who pay credit, and retailers. Thanks to competition, the amout of overhead that goes to credit processors and issuers is going to be a less overall, meaning that retailers will get higher margins and consumers will get a bit more for their money. And consumers who pay only cash will really benefit since they're no longer subsidizing credit card users.

Who loses?
The credit processors, but they deserve it after decades of anticompetitive practices. The credit issuers (banks and such) who will not collect as many royalties from the processors, and probably won't be issuing as much credit since some consumers will opt out of using credit cards.

Me, who previously never had to pay such a ridiculous fee to use my credit card.
Me, who likes to get frequent flyer miles every month.

Consumers who use credit cards will get shafted, if businesses choose to keep their prices the same and just pocket the fee, which is pretty much 100% guaranteed to happen.


Well, based on the complete obliviousness of your reply, I would guess you aren't capable of second-order thought and thus have no hope to understand why an invisible fee hurts you a lot more than a visible one, so I won't waste my time.

As for frequent-flyer miles: in my opinion you weren't benefiting, you were just suffering less. But if you were benefiting, I am happy retailers don't have to subsidize your flights anymore. I don't have any problem with people who were unfairly benefiting from this non-competitive practice getting the shaft.
2013-01-23 12:03:19 AM
1 votes:

Tom_Slick: Just like my stupid power company, pay online $2.00 fee, take $98.00 in ones and change to the drive through, no additional fee.


I know that setting up a website and maintaining it costs money, but I find it extremely hard to believe it's not cheaper for a company to take online than paying some schlub to sit at a desk all day opening letters with checks in them. Or to have a payment counter, which they again, have to pay for cash registers and a guy who won't pocket the money.
2013-01-22 11:39:24 PM
1 votes:

dopekitty74: dugitman: Supes: Some stores around me do this already, except they call it a "cash discount" instead.

Gas stations around here did it that way in the 80s. It eventually pissed everyone off. And there are a lot fewer people(%) who carry cash on them now. As a retailer I accept the necessary evil of processing fees and try to mitigate them by shopping processors every year. Also, we try to run cards as 'debit' as much as possible.
I just don't see younger Americans going back to a cash-based system.

Canadian Tire thrived on the cash discount thing with Canadian Tire money (aka currency coupons usable at their stores)



I love CT money. They have a gas station across fro the CostCo I go to every week and another across from the TH I go to every Sat/Sun.. I pick up half a dozen of the 6X or 10X coupons every Friday on the way home from work so that anytime I'm near their gas station and feel that the price won;t drop much lower tomorrow, I'll stop, get 10 liters, then pre-pay for another 10 L (if the tank needs it). I've saved up over $80 of CT money in the 2.5 yrs I've been doing this!

Once in a while you can drop anything over $10 in CT money onto a gift card - so, either some free gas if you're short of cash, or some free/discounted home or car products.

Reminds me, I wanna sign up for their cc so that it's automatic.
2013-01-22 11:32:54 PM
1 votes:

moothemagiccow: untaken_name: bingethinker: Actually, the store's cost for handling credit cards is already rolled into their prices, and therefore they charge you even if you pay cash.

That's why you should always ask for a cash discount. Good merchants will provide one; bad merchants don't get repeat business. You may be surprised by how often discounts are available, but only if you ask for them.

Yes it's called haggling and it's way cooler in Asia but I find it tiresome and dull, like tipping. Shopping's enough goddamn work. I shouldn't have to start a hard sell before I fork over the cash. The register mongoloid will likely have a brain meltdown.


Asking for discounts is not haggling. Attempting to negotiate the actual retail price is haggling. Asking for discounts is like asking for hot sauce at Taco Bell; it's part of the transaction, but if you don't ask for it, you aren't getting it.
2013-01-22 11:02:57 PM
1 votes:
Revolt? Ha! We will take it up the ass like good little consumers and like it.
2013-01-22 10:37:06 PM
1 votes:
So if the fee is greater than my reward points, I won't use the card. Unless you just priced yourself out of the sale because I can get it cheaper from Amazon and get 3% back form them.
2013-01-22 10:36:11 PM
1 votes:
Actually, the reality is logical.
We get hit for every freakin' charge by electric, landline, natural gas, it just seems to follow that the merchants be able to collect that charge from you too. To me, this is like an equalization for the little guy..., not that I want to pay out more..., but it is actually now an investment in your local businessperson rather than the corporation. This is an allowance to "pass it on".

Just remember, you speak like you are for Joe America, but when you call the 800 number, it's Corporate America who you are feeding.
But when people go to mass protest, they tear apart the little guys business as if they are affecting the corporation.
2013-01-22 10:30:58 PM
1 votes:
A lot of small business in Los Angeles have been doing this for years. The ones that charge a fee fare much worse than their competitors that have no/minimum limits on credit cards. When I ran a froyo shop in Hollywood I kept tabs on cash purchases vs credit purchases and averaged them. Then I offset the cost in the price, in the end it was negligible, a few extra cents, but my shop did way more business than the froyo shop a few blocks away that charged $1 for every card purchase. Long story short, stop being a greedy/lazy business owner, keep good records and adjust your costs based on your costs of doing business. People are more willing to pay a slightly higher price than be told their being charged just because they are using their card.
2013-01-22 10:22:02 PM
1 votes:
The way I see it is the fee for the transaction is being placed where it belongs. On the person requesting the (credit) service.
2013-01-22 10:20:49 PM
1 votes:
Utilities and other places have been doing this since the mid 90's. Cincinnati Water Works and Duke Energy charge a convenience fee to pay with your credit card. Ford Credit charges me an additional $7 to pay my card payment with my debit card.

It's just free money for them, because honestly, I can't think processing these payments costs them much and should be seen as the cost of doing business. But it's more fun to gouge the shiat out of paying customers than to actually find real ways to boost your revenue.
2013-01-22 10:18:16 PM
1 votes:

BarkingUnicorn: Up to 4% more money per credit card transaction, and retail profit margins are 3-4%. Yet some big-box retailers are not on board with this agreement.  I wonder what else is in it?


The exact figure is a very closely-held trade secret, but the consensus is that Walmart is probably getting credit card discount rates somewhere around 1%. They certainly have the size to say "we're not taking Amex, Discover, or even V/MC". They do that from time-to-time with Sam's Club.

So, while that's 1% on them, they encourage credit cards being normal, because it's a 3% handicap on their small competitors.
2013-01-22 10:18:07 PM
1 votes:

Tom_Slick: Just like my stupid power company, pay online $2.00 fee, take $98.00 in ones and change to the drive through, no additional fee.


The city I live in does that bull too. "Use your credit card and pay your (water bill/property taxes/whatever city charge) online! Sign up today!" Yeah... they also charge a $3.50 fee for the "convenience" of doing that, and they have NO OTHER PAYMENT METHOD BESIDES A CREDIT CARD! feh... yeah... So I pay my city bills online with electronic banking through my credit union who DOESN'T CHARGE A FEE for the service. City gets paid and they can take that "convenience fee" and pawn it off on some other schmuck.
2013-01-22 10:16:31 PM
1 votes:
if my local food store or wal-mor decides to slam a doosh charge on CC users they will feel my wrath. $250 worth of goods all over the belt? whoops what's this sign? I object! See ya! yes i will be back to do it again tomorrow. i have that kind of time.
2013-01-22 10:13:40 PM
1 votes:

BokerBill: GAT_00: dugitman: I would be surprised if they do.

Why?  Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.  And if the only grocery in your area does it, what are you going to do?

I'm going to pay by check.


Now you have to wait while the cashier finds the manager to ok the check. And he's out back having a smoke break and won't be back for 10 minutes...
2013-01-22 10:10:58 PM
1 votes:

GAT_00: So if you don't have competition, why wouldn't you enact this fee?


Because if you're a grocery store and don't have competition, it means you're in the outskirts of the Middle of Nowhere, therefore the people you are screwing over are the people who fix your car, cut your hair, teach your kids and prescribe your medicine when you're sick.  Plus there's a likelyhood that they're also your cousins, in-laws or neighbors.  Oh, and most of them are volunteer firefighters, just like you, and you are all part of the church choir, so you don't do it because it will seriously piss them off.

I-can-be-a-dick-if-I-want-to capitalism only works in a setting where you don't have a personal relationship with your customers, and where there are new customers to replace those you've pissed off.
2013-01-22 10:07:02 PM
1 votes:
Well, I'm glad I'm in Massachusetts, then. That charge is banned here.

I've known about the interchange fee for a while now, and since I use my debit card more often than I use my credit card, I avoid that fee to begin with. Early on, I would ask the cashier if the debit or credit card has "that fee" attached to it, and I've received a good many Thank Yous when I put that purchase on my debit card.
2013-01-22 09:55:11 PM
1 votes:

GAT_00: dugitman: GAT_00: Why?  Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.  And if the only grocery in your area does it, what are you going to do?

I've been a business owner for 20 years and make a modest living selling product to customers for reasonable prices. I also have (essentially) the only specialty stores of my kind in the area. I'm proactive in the community, spend locally as much as possible, and contract out any work I need with customers able to do it. Most small business owners are much like me. Not some kind of Uruk Hai  scouts for the local Chamber of Commerce

Flab: GAT_00: dugitman: I would be surprised if they do.

Why?  Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.  And if the only grocery in your area does it, what are you going to do?

There's more than one grocery store - including a farmer's market - in my area, so this hypothetical scenario will remain just that, but for the sake of playing along....  I would wait until the only grocery in my area* does it before getting my panties in a bunch, at which point, I would figure out if it's cheaper to withdraw a certain amount in cash from the bank every month for groceries.  In the meantime, I will continue to use my credit card as much as I can since I rake in 2-3 times more reward dollars than the annual fee.

But you charge as much as you can without dropping demand, right?  That's the basic tenet of capitalism.  Maximize your profit as much as possible.  That's all capitalism is when you come down to it.  So if you don't have competition, why wouldn't you enact this fee?  If you can get more money from the fee than you lose in customers, why wouldn't you?


Absolutely, but why weren't you already charging more if there were no competition? Why is this new fee necessary to charge the profit optimizing price?
2013-01-22 09:53:50 PM
1 votes:

bingethinker: Actually, the store's cost for handling credit cards is already rolled into their prices, and therefore they charge you even if you pay cash.


That's always my point. I have a premium Visa card and I know that the retailer pays a larger percentage per transaction because I use it all the time for the points. (I almost typed "pints" which would have been accurate since I'm in my local right now and I will be using my card). Anyway, the folks paying cash do, in fact, subsidize these premium cards because the menu prices tend to edge up marginally to compensate. The fairest policy is to let the overages devolve back to the card/premium card users. Of course, at that point, the points will not be worth it to me.
2013-01-22 09:53:24 PM
1 votes:
A little tip to people who shop at GameStop, sign up for the Rewards Program online. I signed up for it and totally forgot about it, months/years later a GameStop employee prompted me to check it out. Not only was I already a member, I had several thousand points to spend. Turns out they had been dropping a few points in my account every time I made a purchase.The rewards catalog isnt amazing, but it has a bunch of cool little doohickeys, and you can even exchange your points for MS points to purchase content on Xbox.

I got a slick Mario rubber keychain (cooler than it sounds!) and the replica dog tags they wear in Gears of War 3, and a bunch of MS points.

/zomg brick and mortar still exists?
2013-01-22 09:47:10 PM
1 votes:

GAT_00: dugitman: I would be surprised if they do.

Why?  Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.  And if the only grocery in your area does it, what are you going to do?


I'm going to pay by check.
2013-01-22 09:10:24 PM
1 votes:

GAT_00: dugitman: I would be surprised if they do.

Why?  Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.  And if the only grocery in your area does it, what are you going to do?


Yes, all business are corrupt, greedy farks. And you wonder why I think you're a conspiracy nut.

/not that you can see this as you have me on ignore
2013-01-22 08:58:35 PM
1 votes:

dugitman: I would be surprised if they do.


Why?  Businesses are corrupt, greedy farks.  And if the only grocery in your area does it, what are you going to do?
2013-01-22 08:36:28 PM
1 votes:

bingethinker: Actually, the store's cost for handling credit cards is already rolled into their prices, and therefore they charge you even if you pay cash.


I guess if you want to attack it from the angle of "CC processing fees are in the expense side of the ledger" then yeah. But that isnt how it works in my case. I take in 750K through credit/debit cards. I sell products at SRP(which is printed on the product). Regardless of my processing fees, if you buy a Munchkin box set off me, it will cost $24.95-- cash, credit, gift card, whatever

/also, I would never ever add a CC fee to my customers' transactions
//I depend on customer loyalty more than box stores though
 
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