Saturday Weekend Review #14- Credit Card Surcharges, Would You Pay Them?

 

Weekend Review

Paying to use our credit card each time we swiped it would certainly make the choice of not using it easy for us. A recent conversation with a local pizzeria owner we frequent shared with us that it does cost him money when customers use a credit card. If we ever order a pizza now we pay in cash because we kinda feel bad about it, but not sure if he meant to make us feel that way or we feel sorry for him. He does make a good pizza for a reasonable price though.

Canadian businesses are charged fees from 1.5 to more than 3%  of each purchase put on a MasterCard and Visa credit card. Best of it is, if you are using a premium credit card merchants have to pay more. The transaction charges imposed are per the anti-competitive rules set out by the competition bureau of Canada.

Would you not say that this is just part of the cost of doing business? 

We have seen signs at shops that say “Cash Only” or “Debit and Credit Card Machine” down in our days but tend to stay away. In Canada merchants can ask the customer to pay a surcharge on debit cards but it has to be clearly marked at time of purchase. in fact MasterCard Canada has prohibited merchants from imposing any fees to the customer for using their cards for over 35 years and “believes merchants should pay their fair share of the cost of credit cards”.

It seems at one specific shop in town the machine was always down so you would have to pay in cash which was a pain because we don’t really carry cash. We didn’t want to guess any longer if the machine would be up so we just don’t go there any longer. Our business is going to someone else. I’m only assuming but if the merchant doesn’t offer the use of credit or debit cards by making like the machines are broken then they avoid paying those fees because only cash would be used.

Would You Pay To Use Your Credit Card? 

I was reading on Yahoo this morning that some states in the USA now have the approval for retailers to charge a 1-4 % surcharge to the customers for using a credit card. Keep in mind this isn’t something the retailers were complaining about it was due to a class action suit that happened. Some states already have made these surcharges on credit cards illegal with laws in place and many more up to 19 are looking to follow suit.

As the competition bureau in Canada states in their anti-competitive rules 2012 fact sheet the no surcharge rule, “forces merchants to embed credit card transaction fees in retail prices”. The consumers who pay cash suffer because they are paying a premium to offset the costs of customers who do use the credit card.

Canadians are not out of the clear yet as a final ruling is still to come down on whether retailers can charge Canadians a surcharge which could be up to 10% of our purchase price. According to the Consumers Association, this is all pending a ruling from Canada’s Competition Tribunal judging a case against Visa and MasterCard from 2010.

Many people use a credit card, like us for rewards and ease of use. We don’t always like to go to the cash machine to draw out money even though our bank doesn’t charge us any fees. Using a credit card seems to be the smart way to go especially if they are offering cash back or reward money to use on in-store products.

Would you use your credit or debit card if you had to pay a fee?

What’s Happening At The CBB House?

If you follow me on Facebook you will know that I have been pretty ill this week. My fans even took over the nightly “What’s for Dinner” post because I just couldn’t even keep my eyes open. I get migraines sometimes and I just want to go hide and bury my head. This week I had both migraines and just was feeling off. I’m sure it’s because I just need to kick back and take some time away from everything.

I may not comment as much in the next week but I’m around, but need to take it easy for a bit. I’ve got so much going on right now in my life with work and the house and now the blog just exploding with amazing fans that a break is in order. Other than that we tried this super easy recipe below that I hope you try it. I don’t normally post a recipe in the Saturday Weekend Review but the fans really wanted this recipe. I usually post a frugal recipe every Sunday and tomorrow that is macaroni and cheese with ham baked in the oven so don’t miss that one.

As you might have read we paid down our mortgage last week by over $32,000 and I know many of you have asked me questions about where we go from here. I will address that topic in an upcoming post and in the meantime if you have any other questions please email me or click on Ask Mr.CBB on the home page of the blog.

Making Pita or Flatbread

A fan on my Facebook page (if you are not a fan you are missing out on one heck of a group) posted this easy flat-bread recipe on my “What’s for Dinner” post the other night and we just had to try it. It was so easy to make and you can’t compare the cost of buying it to this. Making flat-bread is by far cheaper than buying it. You can add all sorts of flavours to it and today we added chives to give it a bit of kick. We later turned the flatbreads into flatbread pizza which turned out beautiful.

Super Easy Chive Flatbread

How to Make Flatbread
  • 1 Tablespoon of  active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoon of  salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dried chives (optional from Mr.CBB)
Preparation
  • Combine 1/2 cup of the water with the sugar or honey and yeast, whisk and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Dissolve the salt in the remaining 1 cup of water. Add the salt water and flour to the yeast mixture. ( I added in the chives here)
  • Mix it up and then place it on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough back in the bowl and add the olive oil.
  • Knead the dough until the olive oil in well incorporated into the dough.
  • Put the bowl with the dough into your oven which is OFF and set your timer for 90 minutes.
  • Take the dough out of the oven & punch it down then divide it into 12 balls.
  • Heat frying pan on stove on medium heat, coat lightly with oil. Roll each ball into a circular disk about 6-7 inches in diameter.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

I wanted to sneak this recipe in today and share it with all of you. Thanks Pam for sharing this recipe which she originally found at Mother’s of Invention: Best Pita and Flatbread.

Flatbread Pizza

We took it one step further the next day as I was too ill to eat it the first day and made simple pepperoni flatbread pizzas in the oven. You can use any toppings you desire. We used homemade marinara sauce, mushrooms, homemade sausage, mozzarella and provolone cheese. We turned the oven to 500 degrees, put in our pizza stone to get it nice and hot and cooked our pizzas for about 5 minutes until golden brown. They were simply amazing and a great Friday night alternative to ordering a pizza or you can make my so much better than take-out pizza which is the best pizza we have ever tried.

Flatbread Pizza Pepperoni

What’s Happening With  Canadian Budget Binder?

I am forever grateful for Katrina to join me here at CBB to share her expertise this summer with all of you. I am also potentially working with another lady who would like to help out with the marketing side of the blog which I am thrilled about. I’m sure I’ll keep you all updated as we roll along.

The new blog design is ready for me to check out which I’m hoping to start doing this week. I’ll keep you all updated with that as well. I’m excited to see what my designer has put together for all of us here at CBB. I hope we can continue on the upward level we have experienced here at the blog. With so many new subscribers and amazing Bloggers that follow CBB, I welcome you all and I encourage you to take part in the conversation.

Canadian Budget Binder Blog Posts
Canadian Budget Binder Mentions Around The Web

Thanks to these Bloggers for not only taking the time to read my posts but to share them with their fans. To all my fans, you must check these sites out. I follow them all and you know if they are sharing my posts that they connect with CBB and you may connect with them as well!

If I miss you please let me know and I’ll add you to the list!

If you are a CBB fan you must check out these blogs. I follow them all!

Carnival Mentions

web search terms

Google Search terms really help me to understand what people are looking for at Canadian Budget Binder! Any typos below are simply how the person who searched Google and typed it in search incorrectly, or me ;-) Another week of thousands of search terms but only a few good ones worth mentioning.

Top Pick: Mr.Brownie In Canada- Oh come on you know it’s funny, especially if you know how much I fancy brownies. They are my favourite dessert. I’m sure my fudgy brownie recipe was the cause of this search. 

  • Homemade Cakes Legal Canada–  Interesting, I wonder how one would make an illegal cake in Canada? Unless they meant can I sell homemade cakes in Canada for profits. 
  • Canadian Mortgage Payoff Tricks- There really aren’t any real tricks except to pay it when you are supposed to, pay it weekly if you can, pre-pay all you can each year and for a super fast way to pay off your mortgage- win the lottery.
  • What reply will one give when someone says Happy Easter? – Thank-You, Happy Easter to you as well!!!
  • Why can’t I say Easter– I don’t know, why can’t you?

Quote-Budget and Money

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Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. So sorry to hear you are under the weather, my friend!!! I’ve got to start using FB so I’m in the loop! I used to get migraines terribly, so I know how you feel, they are not fun. 30 days of straight fruits and veggies (steamed and raw) cured that for me, though. I agree that credit card charges are just part of doing business. I would totally stop using credit/debit cards if there were a surcharge added to the purchase – seems like it should be the biz owner’s responsibility to me.
    Thanks for the mention, by the way, and take care of yourself this weekend. 🙂

    • I’m getting better now thanks mate. I just need to slow down a bit, get more sleep as I”m not sleeping enough lately trying to do it all. I’m interested to see what way Canada goes with this entire debate of whether we should be charged or not. Cheers mate, have a lovely weekend as well.

  2. Thanks for the mention! The pizza looks absolutely yummy, but I’m low carb 🙁 most of the time at least 🙂

  3. I would be very unhappy with being charged extra to use my credit card OR my debit. In fact over easter holidays we stopped at a gas station because we reallllllllly had to pee. This is one gas station that requires you to make a purchase before you can use the washroom (they have keys behind the til|) I went to make my purchase and the girl said 5.99, I said i’d pay by debit and she said go ahead and i inserted my chip card. I read the total amount and looked at her and said “i thought you said the total was 5.99 not 7.24?” The girl goes oh thats tthe charge to use your card. I cancelled the transaction and said that needs to be stated when you give the total or at the very least posted. I paid cash instead as i thought that was absolutely ridiculous.

    I can understand in this location WHY they say paying customers only for the washroom as they have to truck in water. However i have a huge problem with fees being tacked on to my total and not being told. If i hadnt had to pee so badly id have walked out and not completed the purchase.

    • Really? Did they have a sign that said that.. must make purchase to pee? lol. From what I read and I don’t know where you live but in Canada they can charge a charge to use a debit card only but it must be clearly marked. I also watched on Marketplace this past Friday that credit cards were getting charged at OLG lottery purchases because it is looked at as a money transfer (don’t quote me on that) but it’s like exchanging money but it’s a very fine line what some of these places that charge for lottery are doing. Where was this?

      • It was a little gas station in Northern Alberta near Paddle Prairie. They had a sign on the bathroom saying “paying customers only” Definitely didn’t have a sign regarding a charge to use the debit card because after she said it i looked around to see if it was posted and the cost noted.

        Wow they charge as a money transfer for buying lottery tickets?One place locally (Hay River, NWT) that sells lotto tickets requests that they be cash only payments. I asked why once and it has to do with keeping the lotto funds separate from their regular sales.

  4. Katrina B says:

    If the surcharge is being included in the retail price you would be paying it even if you paid cash? Did I read that right? It would make no difference then but we pay enough for things already ,I really hope the government doesnt pass this one! If something is going to cost me more to use ny credit card then I would no longer use my credit card.

    • Yes you read that right but only if the company included it in, which won’t know. Well, here’s the thing. If they did factor that into the price and then they charge us a surcharge to use our credit card wouldn’t that be like double dipping from us? Shouldn’t they lower prices then? How will we know, they have us by the tail I think.

  5. Faye Elias says:

    No

  6. Debt RoundUp says:

    Thanks for the mention Mr. CBB. I wouldn’t pay the surcharges, but I don’t think they will actually happen. There are too many places for competition, so unless all of the stores do it at the same time, then it just won’t make sense.

  7. So, this was before that class-action lawsuit when all this was technically illegal, but I have been places that don’t charge any extra fees, but do require a minimum purchase for you to use the card. Many places would back down when you confronted them with the legality of what they were doing, but from what I understand after that law-suit they can impose rules like that. I wouldn’t pay a surcharge, but if I was spending $3.48 they could definitely talk me up to a $5 purchase if that was their minimum. Psychology.

  8. I would if it were say $0.50-$1.00 but I would certainly use it a lot less.

  9. Christine Weadick says:

    I knew years ago that the banks charged a fee to merchants for M/C and Visa, but then I was working retail back then. I can remember when we had to call in a M/C or Visa charge if it was over,I think $50.00….that was a pain in the backside as you got close to Christmas!!! The worst day for that would always be the Sat. before Christmas…….I had it take a half to close to a full hour to get an authorization a time or three. I don’t think I’d care to pay an extra fee to use my credit card. Might if the fee to use the card was less than the fee to use an ATM that wasn’t for my bank, and then I’d likely get enough cash back to last me until I could get to my bank’s ATM….
    I can see it if the debit machine is down once in a while, or I’ve seen it at the grocery store where there is a problem with one bank, but the rest are OK, but if it’s a habit having the machine down I thing either they don’t want to get it fixed or there is a serious problem with the machine itself. If the merchant doesn’t want to have people use the debit/charge machine, I don’t see why they couldn’t offer people a small discount, say 2% for cash purchases. Cash registers these days are all computerized now so it should be simple enough to program it in……Just a thought….
    Enjoy taking things easy there for a bit Mr CBB, we don’t want you overdoing it!!! Migraines can be so nasty!!! Have you discussed them with a doctor??? There are meds out there that can help both to prevent and to help get rid of them when they happen. Worth looking into….

    • I was watching on marketplace tonight that some merchants at lottery booths are charging a fee to those that pay for an OLG ticket with a credit card. The reasoning is that the lottery transaction is like getting cash back on a credit card.. it’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m doing better now but just taking it easy… yes my doc knows.. I just need to slow down a bit that’s all. I’m always on the go. 🙂

  10. I hope you get better soon. I just got back from a small trip, and it was great to take a break. As a consumer, I would never pay a surcharge for using a credit card. As a merchant who takes credit cards, it does cost money, but at least you get funds automatically deposited into your account the next day and you know if the customer has sufficient funds to cover the transaction. With checks or cash, we have to manually make out a deposit slip and go to the bank. If a check bounces, it can takes weeks, if ever, to collect. With cash, there is always the temptation for the employee with sticky fingers as well. All in all, I’d take a credit card any day. In the US, merchant service vendors can compete, and you can choose the one that offers the lowest transaction fee.

    • That would be a good post for you the pros and cons of the surcharge in the USA and how it appeals to you as a business owner. I”m still laughing at the bowling and pizza post.. poor you.

  11. Ouch, migraines are the worst. I hope you are better now. It is lovely that your fans took over! All the best with the blog development, it sounds like good problems to have. Can’t wait to see what you do with the site. I am making pizza on Wednesday and will throw a couple of pita samples, they look fabulous!

    • Yes, I really do have some great fans behind me here. I can’t wait to see what I do with the site either. haha. I need to find a hosting company though. Oh, can’t wait to see your pizza… take piccies.

  12. I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been well. Migraines are tough and really wipe you out. I glad to hear you’re on the mend.

    From a business owners perspective, I would definitely not be a fan of the CC surcharge, but unfortunately, I do agree that’s the cost of doing business these days. People don’t carry much cash on them and I’ve avoided stores that are cash only too. I’m curious to know how it all shakes out for them. On one hand, no more money going to Visa or Mastercard and on the other hand – I have to assume they lose some customers too. I can’t say I appreciate having to use an out-of-network ATM to pay my bill, so that they can avoid a surcharge while I get hit with two surcharges (one from the ATM and one from my bank). Doesn’t give me a warm, fuzzy feeling about their business. 🙂

    P.S. Flatbread looks delicious. Need to join your FB group!

    • Honestly it seems that no matter what we do, whenever we turn around someone is crying for money money. I’m also interested to see how this ends up but the CC companies for sure would lose money and that’s why they don’t want this.

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