Thursday, July 10, 2008

Unsigned ATM Card Woes

10 Things You Might Not Know About Your Credit Card
Most lists with names like these are fluff encouraging you to call your credit card company and request a lower apr. This one is actually filled with good pointers!

#1 Unsigned Cards Are Not Valid And Merchants Can And Will Refuse Them
I have never signed an ATM or paypal card. Instead I write "ASK FOR ID" on the back of the card and pass my license along whenever I use one. According this site its against VISA policy and merchants who ask you to sign the card in front of them before processing payment are in the right. Who knew!? Amusingly enough the article makes a point of calling out USPS for enforcing this rule. This is the only place where my "Ask for ID" in the signature box has caused issues.

The article also links to the VISA violation form for merchants who break their TOS. This is where to report that annoying vendor who won't accept cards for transactions under $10.

I wouldn't use that form unless the vendor were exceptionally rude. If a vendor won't accept my card because the order is under $10, I leave. I will NEVER pick up other small things to "boost" my subtotal as that would be negative reinforcement. I've encountered this issue numerous times at liquor stores where my subtotal is typically $7+tax. If the merchant is willing to allow repeat $7 orders to walk away over a 3% processing fee they don't receive my business.

Of course if the vendor does not accept any cards then I'll break out cash. My issue isn't with people not accepting credit but rather deciding when to accept it.