Restaurants: stop charging extra for using a credit card


One of my favorite quick-stop lunch spots right now is charging extra for using a credit card in their business. Another place I frequent does the same.

I know the owner of the last establishment and have asked him about it. He said they prefer customers who pay cash (understandable) and that it’s been about a 50/50 split with people annoyed by the surcharge and those who, he says, “like it” (I call his bluff at that time. No one ‘finds’ ‘willing to pay more).

As someone who has used a credit card for every purchase since I was 18, I hate these charges. I use a card because it’s the best way to budget for me. I know exactly how much I spend each month and on what, and know my self-imposed budget limit each month.

Cash doesn’t offer that option — unless I wrote down every purchase so that I could see where most of my budget was going each month. I pay my card every month – in full – so if not to pay even a cent more than I should. These costs – sometimes as much as 4 percent of the bill – are more than a cent more.

You could say it’s “just a few bucks,” but a few bucks here and a few more there — and so on — is relevant to smart spending and saving. And I don’t want to be a part of it.

My colleague Steve Barnes wrote about this surcharge and said it is becoming more common. Unlike me, he defends it. He also added a poll for readers to vote on how they feel about paying extra for using a modern card versus the “always in style, but still dated” cash.

Check out what he had to say here.

Kristi Gustafson Barlette

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