The other night my hubby made a stop at the local convenience store to get me some much coveted chocolate ice cream. (He’s sweet that way!)
When he came home, he was grumbling. The clerk told him that they were now implementing a 75 cent surcharge if you use a debit or credit card. If you don’t want to pay the fee, you have to pay in cash.
Now, this wasn’t a huge surprise… over the last few months, the clerks at this store have actually gotten annoyed when my husband has used his debit card for small purchases. Apparently, merchants, particularly gas stations, are getting hit hard by the fees that credit cards charge them for processing the cards.
But this is the closest convenience store to us… so it’s not like we have a lot of options. In fact, the next nearest option is nearly 13 miles away.
What really amazed us was the excessiveness of the charge. I understand wanting to recoup your fees, but to make a profit, too? My husband said he won’t be inclined to shop there anymore because of it.
Neither my husband or I carry much cash with us. We use our rewards credit card for all gas purchases and pay the bill in full each month. We use our debit card for everything else. We’ve found that when we live only on cash, we tend to fritter away more money. When we have to write down every debit and keep track of the credit card, we’re MUCH more careful with our spending. Plus we like the security that comes with both of our cards.
So this new surcharge has us a little perplexed. On one hand, it could be a good thing if it encourages people who are already in debt to use cash instead of credit. On the other hand, I pay my bills every month. Shouldn’t I have the option of paying in a manner that is most important to me without paying a penalty? Isn’t the customer always right?
Have any of you had this happen in your neighborhood? Has it changed your spending habits? Please share your thoughts.