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Old 11-17-2008, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, Austin, Texas
3,629 posts, read 5,404,782 times
Reputation: 2323

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I've been running into this a lot lately, all were around a 5% discount for paying with cash or check.

Spec's Liquor Store, a small travel company, and a local hardwood flooring outlet all offered this and I have taken advantage with the exception of the latter. A sales guy at Spec's told me it is something of an accounting hassle for them, but is overall worth the effort.

Now that the credit industry is in turmoil, e.g. citibank laying
ng off 52,000 today, it might be a bad time for them or their bank to up rates they charge businesses (and in turn consumers).

I for one hope more businesses offer this discount, or if you want to look at it the other way, surcharge. How many people know what percentage of the purchase price they are paying for something are CC transaction fees? Last I heard it can run anywhere from 1 to 5%, though Time Magazine quoted 2 to 8%. I consider that to be significant amount given the slim margins in many retail businesses.

So are there any national chains that offer such a discount?

[side note: I am fortunate to have an in-network ATM in my office building, otherwise I might not be so interested.]
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:23 PM
 
Location: WA
319 posts, read 1,769,335 times
Reputation: 139
My dentist gave me 10% off for using a check (would have been 5% off with credit card) vs. having insurance. Haven't heard of national chains doing anything. I usually use my AMEX for everything to get cash back but the extra 5% off was worth is even on my relatively small bill.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:41 AM
 
218 posts, read 1,019,440 times
Reputation: 106
I have not heard of any "cash deals" with the major chains. The shop where I get my hair cut gives a discount for cash so I always take advantage of that. I would be careful though of booking any trips using cash. Travel agencies and tour operators can disappear in the blink of an eye and I would rather have peace of mind than a discount.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
18,288 posts, read 20,817,641 times
Reputation: 41092
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovelongboatkey View Post
I have not heard of any "cash deals" with the major chains. The shop where I get my hair cut gives a discount for cash so I always take advantage of that. I would be careful though of booking any trips using cash. Travel agencies and tour operators can disappear in the blink of an eye and I would rather have peace of mind than a discount.
Even when using cash I always get a receipt but I see a lot of people walk out of a store or other places without theirs. I have not found any cash discounts around here except big items like remodeling suppliers.
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Zebulon, NC
2,275 posts, read 5,721,240 times
Reputation: 3601
We accept credit cards at my place of business - MC and Visa. Our fees average about 2.5% per transaction.

What the average consumer may not realize is that merchants have to pay fees on returns as well as purchases. So if a customer buys something, then returns it, we would pay a total of 5%, not just the 2.5%.

The fees for American Express are higher - around 3.5%. We no longer accept Amex; not just because of the higher fees, but because it takes longer for them to deposit the money in our account than MC and Visa.

These fees may not sound like much, but they certainly add up quickly.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,224 posts, read 13,640,073 times
Reputation: 7461
It costs a business to accept credit cards, but it's illegal to charge a "surcharge" to cover those added expenses. So, some businesses give "discounts" for cash to discourage charging....if they've raised the prices a bit, they will make out better!
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:07 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 85,133,310 times
Reputation: 18083
None around here that I have ever seen,
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Zebulon, NC
2,275 posts, read 5,721,240 times
Reputation: 3601
It's not really illegal to charge a surcharge, but it does violate the merchant agreement.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,499,742 times
Reputation: 8052
Merchant fees vary from around 2% to around 3.8%, plus a per-transaction fee of ten to fifty cents. There are a lot of things involved when determining the rate - the credit score of the merchant, whether the card is present or not (e.g. mail order/internet sale), the type of card being used (personal/business), etc.

It's not illegal to charge a surcharge, but Visa/MasterCard specifically prohibit this in their merchant agreement. Merchants get around this by offering the "cash discount." Also prohibited is a minimum purchase amount, but it's never enforced, which is why you see signs all over the place requiring it.

American Express doesn't prohibit the minimum purchase amount or credit card surcharge. I'm pretty sure Discover doesn't, either, but I'd have to look over the agreement to make sure.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Orlando
8,178 posts, read 16,711,463 times
Reputation: 49786
I haven't seen the discount but have been thanked for saying "credit" instead of "debit"
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