Friday, December 17, 2010

Short Takes: Anti-Competitive Credit-Card Companies and more

The Competition Bureau is going after Visa and MasterCard for anti-competitive practices. At issue is rules they impose on vendors that drive up costs for everyone regardless of whether they pay with a credit card or not. The responses from Visa and MasterCard accusing retailers of trying to pass costs onto consumers are mostly nonsense. All costs get passed to consumers eventually. The best way to benefit consumers is to lower total costs. Allowing consumers to pay less when they use a cheaper form of payment is the right approach.

Potato got caught by a Pharma Plus location that doesn’t honour their parent company’s offers.

Money Smarts is on a quest to eliminate all paper bills and statements.

Big Cajun Man is tired of answering the same investor profile questions over and over again.

Financial Highway reviewed Gary Kaminsky’s book Smarter than the Street and seemed to like it more than I did.


  1. Thanks for the mention. I did follow the link on the receipt to do the survey, but they never had any kind of open-answer field to point out that specific problem. I haven't gotten around yet to emailing corporate to find out what the deal is...

  2. I didn't know my "premium" Mastercard cost retailers 25% more than a basic Mastercard. Seems like Visa and Mastercard have brought this on with their quest for larger profits. They have to be careful since they are almost a duopoly.

    In most cases, a 1.5% discount would encourage me to pay cash. I have found some of the benefits of using credit cards useful lately though.

    I have a printer that started malfunctioning 13-months after I bought it. Since it had a 12-month warranty, I approached my credit card company, which gives a no-charge extra year of warranty for purchases made with the card. I appreciate this feature, that until now I have completely ignored.

  3. @Gene: Yes, the cost of all the rewards credit cards offer get spread across all consumers regardless of how they pay, whether it be cash, debit, basic credit card, or premium credit card. Of course, the premium cards charge merchants more, but this extra cost is not borne by the holders of these cards alone.