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Require Minimum Transaction Amount for CC/DC?

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Question: 
Can a merchant charge a fee, or require a minimum transaction amount, when their customer chooses to pay with a credit/debit card?
Answer: 

VISA and MasterCard rules both prohibit a merchant from charging a surcharge on a purchase.

MasterCard Rule 5.11.2 states:
A Merchant must not directly or indirectly require any cardholder to pay a surcharge or any part of any Merchant discount or any contemporaneous finance charge in connection with a Transaction. A Merchant may provide a discount to its customers for cash payments. A Merchant is permitted to charge afee (such as a bona fide commission, postage, expedited service or convenience fees, and the like) if the fee is imposed on all like transactions regardless of the form of payment used, or as the Corporation has expressly permitted in writing.

VISA Core Principal 6.3:
Visa merchants agree to accept Visa cards for payment of goods or services without charging any amount over the advertised price as a condition of Visa card acceptance, unless local law requires that merchants be permitted to engage in such practice.

When the Durbin Amendment went into effect on 7/21/11, it gave the merchants the authority to impose minimum transaction amounts provided that the minimum does not exceed $10.00. The merchant must set the same minimum for all card brands.

First published on BankersOnline.com 2/27/12

First published on 02/27/2012

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