Can stores set a minimum for credit and debit card purchases?

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Q. Can a store or business charge a fee or set a minimum spend amount that must be spent to use your debit card?

– Buyer

A. You are correct that many companies set a minimum amount that customers must spend before using a credit or debit card.

This is because merchants pay a fee for every card transaction, and the costs add up as more and more people use plastic instead of cash.

Imagine buying a bottle of water for $2. It is possible that the trader will pay a fee, which means that he ends up incurring a loss on the sale.

Merchants are allowed to set minimums for credit cards.

According to a 2010 ruling under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, a company is allowed to set a credit card minimum of up to $10 as long as that same standard s applies to all credit cards accepted by this merchant. , said Gerard Papetti, certified financial planner and certified public accountant at US Financial Services in Fairfield.

But, he said, the 2010 law only applies to credit card transactions.

Debit card transactions are expressly prohibited from having a minimum purchase amount,” he said.

But many merchants don’t realize the difference, depending on which processing system they use for transactions.

If you believe you have been wrongly charged, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Send your questions to [email protected].

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboos column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. To find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Register for NJMoneyHelp.comit is weekly e-newsletter.

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