Minimum purchase requirements now allowed

Two years ago, I wrote about a rule-breaking coffee shop. This coffee shop required that I spend $5 or more if paying by a credit card. At the time, the coffee shop was breaking the rules. In 2008, the agreements merchants had with MasterCard and Visa prohibited their ability to set minimum amounts for credit card purchases.

I understand that paying transaction fees on small purchases can be hard for some retailers.  However, as someone who doesn’t carry a lot of cash, the coffee shop’s minimum has been very inconvenient. I’ve been tempted to say something to the shop owner all this time, but never have. And now, it’s too late. In fact, if I were to complain about the $5 minimum now (the same little hand written sign is still in the same spot as it was in 2008), the problem could only get worse.

I recently learned that effective July of this year, merchants can legally set a $10 minimum purchase requirement for consumers who want to pay by credit card.

What do you think of this new rule? Have you seen merchants upping or adding a minimum purchase requirement? Will it cause you to carry more cash or use a debit card instead of a credit card more often?

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

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