Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Dec 9, 2008 11:01 AM

What's the deal with the $10 CC minumum?

I thought it was illegal after the hulabalo with the new parking meters in Boston when they had to remove the minimum requirements? Or that the contract with Visa etc required that they accepted any amount?
Yesterday at Fuloon they really grumbled about taking a CC for less than $10 and today at Emilianoz, that have the same requirement, I actually talked to them about it and their story is that they get a better rate from their CC company (service provider?) if they have a $10 minimum.

Does anybody have the real scoop on this since it really irritates me..

On a good note, Emilianoz in Medford was really nice.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Some credit card processing companies charge a fixed rate, say $.25 per transaction, so if you buy something for $1.00, they'll end up paying 1/4 that in credit card fees! If you buy something that's $10.00, they still only have to pay $.25

    1. The contracts with teh CC companies prohibit them having a minimum purchase value. If you choose to, you can report them to the CC company, but it is unlikely that anything would happen to them. They do this because they tend to get screwed over on smaller purchases, but they're trying to have their cake & eat it too - instead of doing a cost/benefit analysis on the pros & cons of accepting CCs, they're trying to only get the pros and not the cons.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jgg13


        If they didn't accept credit cards, you wouldn't be eating there, and they'd lose more than the 25 cent processing fee.

      2. You are correct that it is against their contract with the credit card companies. They might grumble, and I don't blame them, but they do have to accept it. See, the problem is that when they are already operating at a low gross profit, to have a percentage taken out of a small check hurts. Remember, the average successful restaurant in this country has a net profit of about 2.9%. That's about as much as a credit card fee.

        1. it's not illegal, just a violation of the contractual agreements with CC companies as stated.

          ...moving to Not About Food in 3,,, 2,, ....

          1. FYI, I move to MX for 1/2 of Jan and Feb.

            I call ed MC to not freak out at all of the out of country charges. They told me that there's a 3%/$5 min..per charge. Obviously, it will change my use of the CC.

            Check your own agreement; which has probably been changed recently.

            For me, the $5 extra charge is a 10% hit on a $50 restaurant bill(worse on smaller bills). I'l just buy pesos.

            3 Replies
            1. re: 9lives

              That's weird. I travel internationally quite a bit and have seen a percentage added to all bills the last couple of years, but never a flat minimum charge at all, let alone one as ridiculously high as $5. You might look into changing credit card companies.

              1. re: BobB

                After reading your post, I figured I should call MC again..and recheck.

                I was mistaken. The agent told me that the $5 min only applied to cash advances. The previous agent had explained it wrong.

                That makes a big difference in how I' will use the card.

                1. re: 9lives

                  I got a $10-12 charge on an $88 bill sometime last year. I think some credit card companies really gouge you. I chose not to use that card the entire rest of the time I lived abroad.