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2007-12-03 04:10:36

Can Merchants Set Requirements on Minimum Credit Card Purchases?

Credit companies do love when we spend money like water. Such attitude is music to their ears. They do their best to make us buy more than we really need. Meantime, cardholders try to stint the use of plastics, following instructive tips of financial experts. Oddly enough, they can limit their credit card purchases with the help of merchants. Though it sounds a bit controversial, it's quite reasonable judging by the amount of credit card transaction fees that retailers have to pay. Still, regular consumers can face certain difficulties using their plastics for purchases.

Just imagine the following scene. Your financial situation leaves much to be desired and you are convinced that your budget needs some improvement, and with these thoughts in your mind, you buy the most necessary things by all means for the lowest prices!

Baffled you may be, seeing that this store has certain requirements to the amount of your credit card purchases. In other words, you are to charge a certain sum on your credit card. And if you don't spend enough, you simply cannot use your plastic.

Though such cases are so rare, some credit users happened to know about these restrictions from their own experience. Minimum credit card purchases will probably be quite convenient for merchants, for they need to cover high fees associated with credit card transactions. It's definitely a great problem for convenience stores and gas stations.

It must be said that some retailers are sharp-witted enough to charge a certain sum for small credit card purchases. The others simply encourage their customers to use cash when the purchase is not so big. The question is, are they eligible to do it?

The major credit card companies, Visa and MasterCard, announced that such minimum credit card charges were prohibited. In short, retailers are not allowed to set strict rules and determine the sum their customers should pay. And retailers seem to have no idea about it, and try to settle the problems in their own way.

However, why should cardholders suffer from it? It's really unfair, as they pay enough for credit and should not pay some extra fees to merchants. Interestingly, credit issuers try to make us spend more, they offer various rewards credit cards in order to encourage us buy more and more. Use cash back cards and get discounts, use airlines plastics and redeem points for a free airline ticket. Spend more and save more.

Meantime, retailers do their job to reduce the losses associated with credit card transactions. It's worth mentioning that one may also face minimum charges online. And this practice is not allowed as well. However, the most consumers are not so particular about this point and never notice extra fees on their purchases.

So, next time you will do shopping, pay attention to some extra fees on your purchases. And bear in mind, you don't need to pay any charges associated with credit cards and retailers have no right to charge any extra fees for this.

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