The REAL Credit Card Swipe
Worried about skyrocketing gas prices? Not the credit card industry!
Interchange fees are set in secret by the credit card industry, forced on
businesses and consumers. In 2007, interchange fees amounted to $42 billion;
it’s the biggest credit card fee of all.
Interchange fees drive up the cost of goods and services for all consumers, even
if they don't use plastic.
Visa successfully stopped a San Francisco* gas station owner from offering a ten
cent discount to consumers for “cash” vs. “credit” when prices were only
Visa and MasterCard each separately act like price-fixing cartels setting
interchange fees for banks and making consumers buy gasoline at their
Gasoline retailers paid more than twice as much to the credit card industry ($7.6
billion) as they made in pre-tax profits ($3.4 billion) in 2007.
The Credit Card Fair Fee Act would allow merchants a seat at the negotiating
table; create transparency and a competitive market-based solution.
Unfair Credit Card Fee Voices:
Mike Gharib, [gas retailer] is facing a $5,000 fine for violating Visa’s rules…Gharib offers cash-
or-credit pricing at his San Francisco station and has earned Visa’s wrath by using the term
“credit” on his street sign …”Visa says if we don’t change the wording we will be fined $5,000
and could lose our merchant agreement...I don’t see how they can say that we’re breaking the
rules when they won’t even give us a copy of them. But I’m out of my league here, I can’t
fight Visa any more,” says the small independent marketer who has occupied the same station
for 24 years.
“Visa says cash discount signs violate its rules, marketers face large fines,”
Oil Express, 4/16/07
Picture of gas prices taken from www.CNN.com story “Gas prices
climbing with no end in sight” on April 22, 2008
*San Francisco has the highest gasoline prices in the country,
Lundberg Survey, Ap