Krauszers Complaint - $10 minimum for credit/debit purchases - infuriating!

Review by momsey on 2009-12-22
VERONA, NEW JERSEY -- I'm so tired of stores requiring a minimum purchase in order to use a credit/debit card. Not only is it annoying, but it's against their agreement with the credit card companies. I have gone into two Krauzsers recently and told there was a minimum (one was $5, one was $10.) The one, I told them they couldn't do it, and they let me make the purchase. The other store didn't care that I took my business elsewhere and wouldn't budge on the minimum. I very rarely have cash on me anymore, so I have no option other than buying more to meet their minimum (not happening.)
Comments:10 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-12-23
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-22:
How do you know what agreement a credit card company has with its merchant? A company can impose any rule that it wants to. The first store probably just didn't want to argue with you and allowed the transaction. Credit card companies charge merchants a percentage of a purchase paid with their card. The company may not want to take the loss of the profit from a small 10 dollar order because the profit on the one item is less than what the credit card company may be charging them. Most places either allow you to pay by cash, credit, OR debit. If you are using a check card, you could have probably paid for it using your DEBIT and there wouldn't have been a minimum purchase required.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-22:
I think the OP is absolutely correct. The following is from the Visa FAQ (http://corporate.visa.com/ut/faq.jsp)

"Can merchants set a minimum purchase or charge a fee for using my Visa card?
Visa has certain regulations that all merchants that accept Visa cards must follow. One of those rules is that Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items.

If you run into a problem like this with a merchant, please notify your Visa card-issuing bank. Visa member banks have access to the appropriate Visa rules and regulations as well as to the Notification of Customer Complaint forms which should be used by the bank to document and file merchant complaints. "

I'm pretty sure MasterCard and Discover have similar terms.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-22:
A LOT of mom and pop places around here do that also. I had no idea it was against the Visa rules. Thanx, Stew!

I rarely carry cash and use my debit card for just about everything, including 2.39 every morning for a large coffee and a fruit and yogurt parfait at Mickey D's.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-12-22:
"so I have no option other than buying more to meet their minimum (not happening.)"
Well there is the option of putting a ten spot in your pocket before leaving the house.
Most merchants have a transaction fee. If you know their rules, then you know that. Some stores don't see the logic on accepting charge cards on a few dollar purchases once they figure in the minimal profit, transaction fee, merchant fee, and the time put into processing plus the wait for funding. To me, I wouldn't take a card either for all that just to sell a $3 item, which may net a profit of 80 cents BEFORE the fees kick in.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-22:
All merchants that accept credit/debit cards are under the terms with Visa and Mastercard that they are not to have mimimun purchase conditions. If they do, its illegal and they can be reported at mastercard.com or visa.com. The credit card companies will contact them or pull their contracts.

They chose to accept credit card payments so if they need to pay a fee its supposed to be their cost of doing business. They aren't supposed to restrict the customers.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-22:
oh yeah, I use my debit for everything too. Maybe the credit card companies DON'T allow that. I've been to places that say they have a minimum purchase for CC. Maybe Visa just doesn't enforce the rule. Just the other day, I had to pay taxes on my vehicle here in South Carolina. I wanted to pay using my debit card and they said they would charge me an additional 3 dollars for the credit card trans. So I just wrote them a check. I guess the state and feds can do what they want..
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-22:
Nice and informative fact there Stewart, but when I am faced with this dilemma, I get the minimum and move on. It is done for time saving and bookeeping purposes, I would think. No biggie to me.
TennB, I ran into the exact samething out here about a month ago.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-12-22:
They put it in the rules, but don't really enforce it. Think about it:
visa debit card over limit....$35.00 to bank. Typically 4% of purchase goes to bank...what do you think they are going to do? $5.00 bottle of gin goes to $40.35 to the bank AND the 4% off the $5.00 purchase from the retailer. Quite a profit huh?
Posted by goduke on 2009-12-22:
Tennboy, Visa does enforce the rule. Visa just doesn't know about the violation. You can report them to visa.
Posted by momsey on 2009-12-23:
SlimJim...I very rarely have cash on me, as I stated. I don't have cash sitting around my house either. In order to get cash, I have to go to an ATM. In order not to pay an ATM fee, I have to find my bank's ATM. This is all to stop by Krauszers and pick up a soda and a snack? Instead, most places happily accept debit/credit cards for any purchase, and that makes it a whole lot easier! That's the POINT of credit/debit cards.

Anyway, it is against the rules of Visa and Mastercard to have this minimum purchase policy. I have reported merchants before about having minimums, but I don't think Visa and Mastercard are hopping in their enforcement cars and busting a local coffee shop for having a minimum.

My point is...if you don't want to pay the fees to the credit card companies, then don't accept credit cards. Do all your business in cash. I definitely won't give you my business then, but at least then you're not trying to have your cake and eat it too.

It's just frustrating. The shop is most certainly counting on people who will just purchase more to get to the minimum. I refuse to be bullied into giving them more business.

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