Shopping Discussion

Getting charged $1 to use a Visa Card

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 7th, 2016 7:55 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Deal Expert
User avatar
Dec 23, 2003
16215 posts
4632 upvotes
Toronto

Getting charged $1 to use a Visa Card

I was at a country store called White Feather Farm (http://www.white-feather.ca/) and they had a sign that to use Visa is a minimum $30 and a $1 additional charge. I didn't think this was actually allowed by the Visa terms of service. Is this common practice to do this?
41 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 10, 2012
3811 posts
1452 upvotes
Canada
they probably process it via 3rd party.
Deal Guru
Mar 14, 2005
13811 posts
2498 upvotes
There is a green grocer nearby that has a sign stating $5 minimum for credit card purchase. Should I call up the credit card companies to report them?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 3, 2008
7961 posts
4191 upvotes
This is not allowed, the contract between the payment processor and the merchant disallows this.

If you find out how to report merchants which require a minimum or have a surcharge for credit card transactions, please share. The only link / webform is from the MasterCard USA site and probably doesn't apply. Calling up your bank's credit card line (eg. # on back of credit card) might work and it'd be great to hear people's experiences.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
35123 posts
8544 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
badsha wrote: they probably process it via 3rd party.
I doubt that's the case, it's mostly likely to avoid reporting the income to the CRA. Credit card transactions leave a paper trail

On the other hand. $30 minimum at $1 is 3.66%

It could be used to cover the transaction fee
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
31592 posts
12886 upvotes
It never used to be allowed in the 90s but I dunno if these agreements have changed because different places charge all kinds of things these days :(

Anyway, even in the 90s the way they got around this (mostly computer stores did this) was simply to say that prices posted were 3% cash discounted so in other words if you paid by CC it was 3% more. This is allowed as technically you're not paying surcharge for CC use, you're getting a discount for cash/debit lol. I'm not sure if any PC stores do this anymore since the advent of internet sites (e.g. NCIX) where CC orders became par for the course. I'm guessing now everything is just basically inflated by 3%...in case you do use a CC.

But yeah they're not supposed to tack on extra charges like in OPs case...if the merchant agreements are still the same as they always were that is. As for the min. purchase, I'm unsure what the rules regarding that are.
Member
Jun 21, 2016
283 posts
91 upvotes
I can't find the info on Visa Canada site about min. charges, but Visa in the US is forced to accept that merchants may have a min. charge up to $10, courtesy of the federal gov't, but I can't find min. charge information for Canada on the Visa Canada site.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 4, 2006
4044 posts
903 upvotes
I've never seen a minimum as high as $30 but plenty of mom and pop shops have a minimum threshold for interac/cc usage. shrugs.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28410 posts
13971 upvotes
ES_Revenge wrote: Anyway, even in the 90s the way they got around this (mostly computer stores did this) was simply to say that prices posted were 3% cash discounted so in other words if you paid by CC it was 3% more. This is allowed as technically you're not paying surcharge for CC use, you're getting a discount for cash/debit lol.
They caught on real quick and they changed the wording.
Now you're "not allowed discounts on other payment methods"
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 18, 2005
20880 posts
5455 upvotes
Burlington-Hamilton
Realistically I don't mind this too much because it means they probably don't include the hidden cost of merchant processing fees on their prices. But it's probably against their merchant agreement.
- casual gastronomist -
Deal Fanatic
Nov 11, 2008
8428 posts
2075 upvotes
These shops should just offer "Cash" discount versus regular price like what Canada Computer use to do back in the day.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 3, 2014
5863 posts
3868 upvotes
Call your bank and file a complaint. Not sure about other banks but I know RBC takes complaints.
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 22, 2016
2390 posts
618 upvotes
Ontario
Visa rips businesses off. They are trying to discourage you from using it.
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2005
4121 posts
2823 upvotes
Toronto
I really don't mind if it's a small business. Better for them to charge a bit extra for credit than cash only.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
13754 posts
17830 upvotes
Vancouver
ES_Revenge wrote: I'm not sure if any PC stores do this anymore since the advent of internet sites (e.g. NCIX) where CC orders became par for the course. I'm guessing now everything is just basically inflated by 3%...in case you do use a CC.
ATIC Computers in Vancouver has been offering a 3% cash discount for at least a decade. It's even all over their website. http://atic.ca
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 4, 2015
793 posts
196 upvotes
Stouffville
webshark wrote: Visa rips businesses off. They are trying to discourage you from using it.
I disagree & look at it another way.

Visa knows they make a ton of money off of people in the form of interest charges. They are trying to appeal to the customers, offering them more incentive to use their cards. This comes at the expense of companies.

Using Walmart as an example, i'd rather have more money in the average persons pocket instead of Walmart getting away without paying VISA fees that they reward us with.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 11, 2003
1536 posts
694 upvotes
hightech wrote: I was at a country store called White Feather Farm (http://www.white-feather.ca/) and they had a sign that to use Visa is a minimum $30 and a $1 additional charge. I didn't think this was actually allowed by the Visa terms of service. Is this common practice to do this?
This is not allowed it is a breach of the merchant agreement, to report this you can easily just go on facebook and message visa or mc and they will get it fixed
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 26, 2006
1452 posts
525 upvotes
Toronto
This is a little country store between Oshawa and Port Perry, not some big Walmart conglomerate. Do people really have nothing better to do than report little independent stores trying to run a business?

If successful, everything will just get a little more expensive for everybody - they'll find a way to cover those fees like any smart business would and should.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
31592 posts
12886 upvotes
death_hawk wrote: They caught on real quick and they changed the wording.
Now you're "not allowed discounts on other payment methods"
Ohhhh so that's why they don't do that anywhere anymore. But by "real quick" were you being sarcastic? 'Cause seems like it took them over a decade to shut that down :lol:
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
31592 posts
12886 upvotes
TagYoureIt wrote: Visa knows they make a ton of money off of people in the form of interest charges. They are trying to appeal to the customers, offering them more incentive to use their cards. This comes at the expense of companies.
Indeed.
TagYoureIt wrote: Using Walmart as an example, i'd rather have more money in the average persons pocket instead of Walmart getting away without paying VISA fees that they reward us with.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that (seems worded oddly) but if you think anyone is "rewarding" the customer with anything, you're dead wrong. If Walmart stops accepting VISA you think one cent of the money they save there is going to go towards reduced prices for us or increased wages to workers? :lol: As if. Similarly the token "rewards" given out by CC companies are just that--tokens. As you say above those add up to orders of magnitude less than the interest they collect. Now yes you can be a "smart" CC user and never pay interest and take advantage of every offer you can find and get free stuff, cash rewards, maximise your cashback, etc. But unfortunately the vast majority of CC users are actually not in that situation and most of them end up with CC debt and end up paying interest far more than they would ever get in "rewards" back from these companies. It's the reality, unfortunately.

The interest rates are ludicrous too, but such is life in free enterprise.

Top

Thread Information

There is currently 1 user viewing this thread. (0 members and 1 guest)