Taking Action — Protesting Credit Card Fees

Posted: April 9, 2012 in Organizing, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Many people are unaware of the impact of credit card fees on merchants and therefore on us.  When ever you use a credit card, the merchant gets paid, but is also charged a fee for accepting your credit card.  It is not even a fixed fee.  It can vary depending on the size of the perks your card offers you like miles or money back.  The credit card companies promote these benefits, but they don’t have to pay for them;  the merchant does and you do.  Cards are so popular that a merchant has no reasonable alternative.  The rules they must agree to include not offering you a discount for paying with cash.  If they break that rule, their privilege of using credit cards can be withdrawn.  When I learned about some of the details, I was angry.  What could I do?  I had an idea which I currently practice.  If we all followed this practice, we could give some advantage to the small merchants in our community, one of the few they may have competing with multi-national corporations.

It is simple.  When I am ready to pay a merchant, I ask whether or not the merchant is local or part of a national chain.  If they are local, I pay with cash.  If they are part of a national chain, I use my credit card.  I also tell the cashier what I am doing, and I have always been thanked.  On some occasions, I am able to discuss credit card excesses and am usually amazed to learn the local merchant is paying thousands of dollars a month in credit card fees.  In one case, I learned that a local merchant was now being charged to make deposits in her bank which she had to do on a daily basis.

It is a bit of a nuisance to have cash on hand all the time, but it does give me a better feeling for what I am paying for things.  The credit card is just too easy.  But, taking action, however small, like paying cash to local merchants not only gives me satisfaction, but helps the merchant too.  As I have shared this practice with others, I have had feedback that a number of other people too have adopted this practice.  What would happen if we all did?

Cecil Denney

  1. irishsignora says:

    That’s a very good idea, and I hope you don’t mind that I shared it.

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