Small to medium enterprises (SME) are increasingly relying on commercial credit cards to finance their operations, because payment terms for the businesses they supply are stretching out. But if the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) goes ahead with plans to include commercial cards in the new caps on interchange fees, SMEs will be even more hard pressed to make ends meet. Here's why.
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Back in February, the Federal Government passed a bill to give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) the power to rein in companies that slug customers with a high fee when they pay with their credit cards. Today, the law finally came into effect -- which means those ridiculous surcharges for using EFTPOS, MasterCard, Visa and American Express are officially banned. Hurrah!
Whenever I pop into a convenient store to get something small, it always a bit of a gamble. Will they or won't they hit me with a $1 surcharge if I pay for a $2 pack of gum with my credit card? It seems a lot of businesses are guilty of making customers cough up money for paying with plastic, but is this practice legal? We find out.
The days of companies charging ridiculous amounts of surcharges just because customers are paying with plastic are coming to an end. The Federal Government has passed a bill that will give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) the power to rein in companies that slug customers with a high fee when they pay with their credit cards. Here's what you need to know.
I don't know which is worse: a shop that doesn’t take card payments or a shop that has a minimum spend limit for card payments. All I know is, most people hate these two things. While we know stores aren't obliged to support card payments, is it legal for them to enforce a minimum spend when you pay by debit or credit card?
Budget blog Wise Bread discusses financial products and deals that almost everyone should avoid, and at least one of them has been offered to likely every single reader of this blog—store-branded credit cards, often with a same-day savings pitch. But even if you pay off that purchase the minute you arrive home, it's generally a bad idea:Do not be enticed to sign up for these cards even if the store gives you 30% off on the day you sign up ... These are different from a cobranded credit card that can be used anywhere. An example of a co-branded credit card is the Costco Amex Card, which can be used outside of Costco. Co-branded cards generally have better rates and better internal controls than store specific cards.As noted by BankRate.com, each store card opened automatically knocks 20 points off your credit score, making a discount on one sweater not as appealing. Hit the link for five more items to keep your distance from. Six Horrible Financial Products You Should Avoid
Personal finance blogger Ramit Sethi says it only takes him five minutes a week to make sure he's not being over-charged, intentionally or not, by restaurants and other places where humans swipe his credit cards and enter a deduction amount.By collecting his human-swiped receipts in a folder right on his desktop, he can pull up his online credit card statement once a week and quickly run a "Ctrl-F" check of each total from his receipts. If he can't find the amount he was supposed to be charged, it likely means someone messed up—or intentionally tried to scam a few bucks off him. It's a quick and easy way to save yourself a few dollars, as well as add a feeling of security and it's-all-taken-care-of-ness to your weekend. Got a better way to prevent small over-charges? Share your tip in the comments. Photo by Dan4th. Handling credit-card receipts
Tired of having an over-stuffed wallet and paying too many credit card bills each month? Personal finance blog The Simple Dollar has a few suggestions on which cards to keep and which to start cancelling over time. It's not as simple as cutting all of them up except one, as the post points out:Which is your oldest card? That card is the one that has the longest credit history, which is important for your credit report. For me, my oldest card is one that I got as a freshman in college. It has an atrocious "bonus" program associated to it (1/4% return in the form of "points"), but it was the first one I had and thus it's been on my credit report for more than a decade, establishing that I've had positive credit for a long while.Rather than keep the card in his wallet, however, the author simply locks it away in a safe, so the good credit hits keep coming every month. How did you decide which credit card gets the prime slot in your wallet? Share your wisdom in the comments. Photo by mlinksva.
I Have A Wallet Full Of Credit Cards - Which Ones Should I Keep?