Federal law, established in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, allows merchants to set a minimum purchase requirement of up to $10 when a customer uses a credit card. The law requires only that the merchant treat all cards the same. The rule does not apply to debit card transactions, and most credit card processors prohibit businesses accepting their cards from requiring a minimum purchase when the consumer uses a debit card.
When you pay with a credit card, the store pays a percentage of your charge, often in addition to a flat fee. The amount of these charges varies, depending on the terms the retailer negotiated with the card processor. The volume of the retailer's business and the version of a card that the consumer uses may affect the charges paid by the store. For example, rewards cards often cost the store more than the plain cards.
The law was enacted in response to concerns expressed by retailers, especially small ones, that today's slim profit margins can be erased by credit card fees on small purchases. The fees often run from 1 to 3.5 percent, and the per-transaction costs are often in the range of 5 to 10 cents.
If a consumer has a problem with a credit card, the consumer should write to the bank that issued the card. If that doesn’t resolve things, the consumer can contact the Better Business Bureau or the credit card company:
|Customer Service Center
MasterCard International Incorporated
P.O. Box 28468-0968
St. Louis, MO 63146-0968
P.O. Box 8999
San Francisco, CA 94128-89999
Customer Service: 1-800-847-2911
|American Express Company
World Financial Center
New York, NY 10285
|Discover Card Customer Service |
Discover Financial Services
P.O. Box 30943
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0943