Getting a Discount for Using No-Frills Credit Cards?
Will it soon pay to have a no-frills, no-rewards credit card in your wallet? Under a proposed settlement just reached between the Justice Department and Visa and MasterCard, merchants will now be allowed to offer discounts, rebates or other incentives to use cards with lower processing fees, such as “no-frills” credit cards without rewards or points programs. As the cost of processing a charge varies widely, depending in part on whether the customer is using a rewards card, there is significant motivation for merchants to promote lower-cost credit card networks.
We may not be seeing many of these changes anytime soon, however. American Express has decided to fight these changes, so any merchants who still accept Amex will still be bound to their terms that prohibit them from discouraging the use of Amex cards. At any rate, this is a development that bears watching.