Increased surcharges, lower fees...lower rewards?

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Increased surcharges, lower fees...lower rewards?

Postby FutureBillionaire » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm

Yahoo has posted an article stating that merchants may be allowed to levy a surcharge to customers that use Visa And Mastercard credit cards. They also stated that they may reduce the fees that the issuers charge merchants. I'm nervous that these changes will lead to lower credit card rewards. :(
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
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Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
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Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
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Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

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Postby agp » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:28 pm

Time to apply for some more Amex cards!

Main Card: Amex Platinum
For gas: Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
For travel & dining: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby DavidNY » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:44 pm

Where credit cards are accepted I'm paying a surcharge to the credit card industry whether or not I use plastic. That's why I use the cards. If there is a reasonable discount for cash (or a credit surcharge), I'd rather pay cash.

The only "discount" I've seen lately has been a nickel off a gallon of gas at certain gas stations, about a 1.4% discount at $3.50/gal. I would probably pay cash at those places if I didn't have cards offering better discounts.

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Postby milkman12 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:19 pm

I read the same article. It reads like it was a long time coming. Lower rewards sounds like a reasonable response to a reduction in merchant fees. But, I don't think lower rewards and surcharges passed on to the consumer is going to meet a favorable response. People may actually carry out what many of the commenters of the article threatened: convert to cash only.

I think, though, the reality depends on a few things: how married are people to the convenience afforded by their credit cards, which and how many merchants actually implement the surcharge, and the amount of the surcharge. I suspect it will be cat and mouse dance for a while before, it settles down to something resembling steady state.

One potential good point from this could be more lucrative 1st year incentives and better/more services offered by the card issuer. The logic being, counteract waning interest in new credit applications by helping to subsidize the surcharge fees for the first year. After the first year, perhaps these new customers will stay due to the additional services offered. This is just speculation, though; I guess we'll wait and see.
Amex Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%)
US Bank Cash+ (bills, 5%; restaurants, 5%)
Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex (2% across the board)
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