Minimum Purchases Violate Credit Card Merchant Agreements

“Always honor valid Visa cards, in your acceptance category, regardless of the dollar amount of the purchase. Imposing minimum or maximum purchase amounts is a violation.”

As always, thanks go to Consumerist.com.

The excuse I hear for this behavior is the credit card’s transaction costs (~3-5% of the transaction + a few pennies per transaction + a monthly clearing charge). As Jen reminded me the other day, cash has it’s own transaction costs (employees closing out drawers + transporting cash to bank + making change + slower check outs).

2 Replies to “Minimum Purchases Violate Credit Card Merchant Agreements”

  1. I want everyone’s opinion on the following issue

    Person “A” tries to pay an $8
    tab at establishment. Establishment says they have a $15 minimum and
    refuses to run the card, telling Person “A” that they either need to
    get cash or they will not be allowed back in the bar ever again.
    Person “A” asks to talk to a manager assuming the manager will know
    the merchant agreement and run the card. Manager basically says screw
    off and backs the bartender in his argument.

    The question is, next time person “A” goes back to the establishment
    and is denied entry because of the afore mentioned incident – is there
    legal action that can occur.

    The establishment is denying entry for “failure to pay a bill” when
    the customer clearly offered to pay the tabl with a visa credit card.
    Under the merchant agreement for visa the establishment is required to
    run the card. So what happens? What could the lawsuit claim and/or
    accomplish?

    I say yes…lawsuit..they have to grant entry to person “A”.

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