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405. I tried to charge my credit card a $10 item but the merchant pointed to a sign "minimum charge $20." Is this valid?




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This article is from the Credit cards and Consumer Credit FAQ, by adams@spss.com (Steve Adams) with numerous contributions by others.

405. I tried to charge my credit card a $10 item but the merchant pointed to a sign "minimum charge $20." Is this valid?

Never for Visa and MasterCard; generally not for American Express.
Discover explicitly allows the merchant to set a minimum purchase
amount, according to email received by the previous editor.

MC and Visa rules provide that a merchant may not require any
minimum purchase amount. This is the merchant's agreement with Visa
or MasterCard; it is not a Federal law. (On the other hand, if you
insist on charging a 79-cent ball point pen, I hope you get four
flat tires on the way home.)

According to Bankcard Holders of America, if a merchant takes
American Express and also Visa or MC, Amex doesn't let the merchant
impose a minimum purchase on Amex users because that would
discriminate against them. Merchants who take Amex but neither Visa
nor MC may impose minimum charges but Amex officially discourages
the practice.

 

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previous page: 404. What should I do when asked for personal information I don't want to give when purchasing with credit card?
  
page up: Consumer Credit and Credit Cards FAQ
  
next page: 406. Can the merchant charge credit-card users more than cash customers for the same item?