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Are merchant’s following the credit card rules?

Ever go to a store and realize you do not have enough cash in hand for even that small purchase. Then to make it more embarrassing the clerk says you have to have a $15.00 minimum purchase to use your credit or debit card? Is this legal?

OK, let’s assume a lot of the smaller merchants don’t know the rules for accepting cards from Visa and MasterCard, rather than they don’t follow them.

As a consumer you also may not know the credit and debit card acceptance rules. The answer to the above is that Visa and MasterCard merchants who accept their credit or debit cards cannot set a minimum purchase amount. This is a credit card company rule imposed so that the credit or debit card is being used like cash.

There are still many small merchants that break the no-minimum-purchase rule. Some will put a sign in the window showing that they accept the card and then at the register have another sign stating the store has a minimum purchase is required. This does not give the store protection. What it really says is that the store does not know the rules or that they have decided to not follow the rules.

If you as the cardholder have a problem with a merchant you should contact the bank or company that issued your card and report the merchant. It would then be the bank’s customer service representative that would handle this matter. However, there have been reports by consumers that this is sometimes a fruitless endeavor. One bank representative even agreed that the merchant could impose a minimum amount.

From the merchant’s point of view it is understandable that they would want to put a minimum on a credit or debit transaction. The reason is some merchants pay a percentage, say 1.5 to 4 percent, plus a transaction fee, twenty cents being typical, on all transactions. This does add up quickly for the merchant.

Knowing this you may also see how the credit or debit card company benefits from the no minimum rule. Now too, you may want to inform your friends and family of this in an attempt to use cash more frequently for the smaller purchases. Using the credit or debit card is only increasing the profits of the credit card companies as they are making money on both ends of the transaction.

Need a little cash? It is possible that you could have unclaimed property. Many Americans do not know they have unclaimed property, yet 9 out of 10 do have some money waiting to be claimed.

What is unclaimed property? The most usual are: a safe deposit box unused where the bank must turn over the contents to the state, a dormant bank account, stocks, bonds, utility deposits unclaimed and this list would include you having ownership if you have a deceased relative who may have had unclaimed property.

To find out if you have unclaimed money in any state go to www.CashUnclaimed.com and do a free money search. Simply enter your name and you will soon know if there is money waiting to be claimed.

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When you perform a free trial search on CashUnclaimed.com we display the total dollar amount in unclaimed funds that we show reported by the appropriate government agencies. This does not guarantee that this money is 100% absolutely yours. What it means is that there is that total dollar amount shown by government agencies under your name and common variations of your name at the last time we had the information available to us was reported as unclaimed and is able to have a claim form submitted to be paid that amount. For more information please read our terms of use by clicking the link above.