Just right? What's that?



  • I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.  I pay it off every month.  My last statement balance was $3.21 and I haven't had to use the card since.  My minimum payment is due 10/1/13.  I've always paid the bill through the credit card's website.  This time after I entered the payment information I got the error "FAIL:Payment amount is less than required on-line minimum payment."  I tried $5 instead and got the error "FAIL:Payment amount is greater than allowed maximum payment."  $4.99 yielded the original error again.





  • @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.



  • @Ronald said:

    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    1% cash back (5% on gas right now).  Never driven a Subaru, maybe I should try one.

     



  • @Ronald said:

    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    Discover is the Subaru of credit cards.

     



  • @Pascal said:

    @Ronald said:

    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    1% cash back (5% on gas right now).  Never driven a Subaru, maybe I should try one.

     

    Have a look at Amazon's Visa. First it's a Visa so it works everywhere, but also it has higher cashback on stuff you buy on Amazon. Also you get a $30 sign-in bonus that you can use to buy 3 of those:



  • @Pascal said:

    @Ronald said:

    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    1% cash back (5% on gas right now).  Never driven a Subaru, maybe I should try one.

     

    Plus it lets you pay a "balance due" of $4.99 online without being a dick about it.

     



  • @Ronald said:

    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    Discover is becoming one of the best cards right now. Next quarter you get 5% back on online shopping, this is in addition to the crazy cashback that they offer on shopdiscover. The cashback can be redeemed for things like giftcards for staples at 80c per $1. So you get a $25 GC for $20 in cashback. They also seem to have the same extra benefits that amex does (purchase protection, double warranty, etc).

    And while there are a few places that still don't take discover, those places are becoming fewer and fewer these days.



  • @russ0519 said:

    @Ronald said:
    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    Discover is becoming one of the best cards right now. Next quarter you get 5% back on online shopping, this is in addition to the crazy cashback that they offer on shopdiscover. The cashback can be redeemed for things like giftcards for staples at 80c per $1. So you get a $25 GC for $20 in cashback. They also seem to have the same extra benefits that amex does (purchase protection, double warranty, etc).

    And while there are a few places that still don't take discover, those places are becoming fewer and fewer these days.

    Well, thanks for helping me "Discover" it!

    I still prefer real credit cards and casino IOUs for now.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @Ronald said:

    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    Discover is the Subaru of credit cards.

    Car analogies are the Rolls Royces of analogies.

     



  • @D-Coder said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @Ronald said:

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    Discover is the Subaru of credit cards.

    Car analogies are the Rolls Royces of analogies.

     

    That's because cars are as commonplace as cars.

     



  • @Ronald said:

    Have a look at Amazon's Visa. First it's a Visa so it works everywhere, but also it has higher cashback on stuff you buy on Amazon. Also you get a $30 sign-in bonus that you can use to buy 3 of those:

    I've got a card that gives 5% back on "books". They classify Amazon.com as a book store, so everything I buy there is 5% off. Plus the 5% on gas and groceries makes it pretty killer.



  • @stinerman said:

    I've got a card that gives 5% back on "books". They classify Amazon.com as a book store, so everything I buy there is 5% off. Plus the 5% on gas and groceries makes it pretty killer.

     

    What card gives 5% on groceries?  Best I've been able to find without an annual fee that negates the savings is 3%.

     



  • Don't "pay it off every month". Put it on the automatic payment plan and forget about it (you should still remember to check it a few times a month to make sure no fraudulent activity shows up, though). I'm sure they'll happily bank draft amounts less than $5 if your balance is less than that. The idiot check is probably enforced at the user-level to keep people from trying to pay their bill in $1 increments.



    I had a similar case of a seldom-used card and its cash-back rewards. They wouldn't let me redeem anything less than $25 (or some such amount) but after I enabled the "automatically mail me a check every 6 months", several months later I got a check for $2 or so. Took me a while to figure out why they mailed me their pocket change, until I remembered that I'd set an option to have my reward check mailed for that particular credit card.



  • I thought Discover was a Futurama joke.



  • @Ronald said:

    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    Do Subaru not sell the Impreza WRX to you guys? That car goes like lubricated shit off a greased shovel.



  • @russ0519 said:

    @Ronald said:
    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    Discover is becoming one of the best cards right now. Next quarter you get 5% back on online shopping, this is in addition to the crazy cashback that they offer on shopdiscover. The cashback can be redeemed for things like giftcards for staples at 80c per $1. So you get a $25 GC for $20 in cashback. They also seem to have the same extra benefits that amex does (purchase protection, double warranty, etc).

    And while there are a few places that still don't take discover, those places are becoming fewer and fewer these days.


    Consider where that 5% cash back comes from:

    1. Your vendor is charged a fee per transaction; and of course the vendor passes that along to you; so you pay more than you otherwise would have.


      What if this fee was a tax instead: First you pay the government 10%; then the government gives you back 5%. Wow -- you got back half of what was taken from you. Feels good, doesn't it??

    2. You pay interest on what you owe; so you're really just getting a portion of your interest back. Wow -- you pay discover 17% interest then are excited when they give 5% back.

    3. Because everyone pays that same price (regardless of whether they use Discover or not), there are lots of people paying a higher price than they otherwise would have, to subsidize the Discover car people. THAT should make you feel good -- or bad, depending on whether you have a Discover card or not.


  • @DrPepper said:

    1) Your vendor is charged a fee per transaction; and of course the vendor passes that along to you; so you pay more than you otherwise would have.
     

    Yes.

    @DrPepper said:

    2) You pay interest on what you owe; so you're really just getting a portion of your interest back. Wow -- you pay discover 17% interest then are excited when they give 5% back.

    You carry a balance? Oh. Umm-- good for you?

    @DrPepper said:

    3) Because everyone pays that same price (regardless of whether they use Discover or not), there are lots of people paying a higher price than they otherwise would have, to subsidize the Discover car people. THAT should make you feel good -- or bad, depending on whether you have a Discover card or not.

    So other people pay for my reward? I guess I should cackle evily at that one. I LIVE OFF OTHERS!

    Of course, if the merchant hadn't hiked the prices because of Discover, they would have hiken their prices to fund their own "customer loyalty" system, if you want to use it or not. Or to pay for a plastic bag disposal fee. Or pay for something else that would only be used by a select portion of their customers but effect all of them regardless.

    So there's that?



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @DrPepper said:

    1) Your vendor is charged a fee per transaction; and of course the vendor passes that along to you; so you pay more than you otherwise would have.
     

    Yes.

    @DrPepper said:

    2) You pay interest on what you owe; so you're really just getting a portion of your interest back. Wow -- you pay discover 17% interest then are excited when they give 5% back.

    You carry a balance? Oh. Umm-- good for you?

    @DrPepper said:

    3) Because everyone pays that same price (regardless of whether they use Discover or not), there are lots of people paying a higher price than they otherwise would have, to subsidize the Discover car people. THAT should make you feel good -- or bad, depending on whether you have a Discover card or not.

    So other people pay for my reward? I guess I should cackle evily at that one. I LIVE OFF OTHERS!

    Of course, if the merchant hadn't hiked the prices because of Discover, they would have hiken their prices to fund their own "customer loyalty" system, if you want to use it or not. Or to pay for a plastic bag disposal fee. Or pay for something else that would only be used by a select portion of their customers but effect all of them regardless.

    So there's that?


    Uhh -- I've carried a balance on my CC for many many years. Seems like the kids always need something, or the car breaks down, or a vacation comes at the wrong time. Hey, just remember I'm one of those people who are helping fund your cash back.


    There are certainly costs of doing business. If you walk into McD's and get a value burger and value fries and pay with your CC, the restaurant loses money. Whether it is the plastic bag or the cost of heating/cooling the store, in the end you're paying for that too. Its just that people (but certainly not the WTF reader) who think that the 5% cash back is "free money" when in fact you're just getting back a portion of what used to be your own money.



  • @DrPepper said:

    1) Your vendor is charged a fee per transaction; and of course the vendor passes that along to you; so you pay more than you otherwise would have.
    It is entirely possible that in order to cover the expense of credit card fees, all stores charge slightly higher prices than they would if credit cards didn't exist and everyone paid cash. However, that is somewhat debatable because making it easier for people to buy more stuff increases sales. It's a trade off. If credit cards didn't exist and everyone could only pay with cash, stores would sell less a lot less stuff than they do now. Because of competition, stores have to keep prices as low as possible so they eat some or all of the credit card fees in the hope that it will generate greater sales volume. It's just another cost of doing business.

    As the result of a lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard, merchants are allowed to charge people an extra fee if they pay with a credit card. I have yet to encounter anyone who does this, and it's not hard to understand why. Anybody who tries to charge an extra fee will find themselves losing customers to the stores who don't.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    As the result of a lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard, merchants are allowed to charge people an extra fee if they pay with a credit card. I have yet to encounter anyone who does this, and it's not hard to understand why. Anybody who tries to charge an extra fee will find themselves losing customers to the stores who don't.

    I've generally only seen this at gas stations. And it's usually marketed as a discount for cash. Some places have minimum purchase amounts, which ISTR is illegal or against the standard agreements that vendors sign, but it's usually small places like dry cleaners, and I don't begrudge them that, as they're typically less sophisticated than larger firms that end up bundling smaller transactions to lower their costs. Of course, by using a credit card, you've also reduced their cost to handle cash and the ability of employees to walk off with some of that cash.



  • @DrPepper said:

    2) You pay interest on what you owe; so you're really just getting a portion of your interest back. Wow -- you pay discover 17% interest then are excited when they give 5% back.
    I pay off my Discover every month too.  If you are paying 17% interest, you should not be giving financial advice.  As of my last Discover statement I have earned a total of $1,962.47 in cashback from them.  That is money that I simply would not have, had I used a non-cashback card.

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @El_Heffe said:

    As the result of a lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard, merchants are allowed to charge people an extra fee if they pay with a credit card. I have yet to encounter anyone who does this,
    Car dealerships in the UK tend to do this.



  • @PJH said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    As the result of a lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard, merchants are allowed to charge people an extra fee if they pay with a credit card. I have yet to encounter anyone who does this,
    Car dealerships in the UK tend to do this.

    You are allowed to just charge a car in the UK?!  That seems like a purchase that shouldn't be getting put on something like that.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @locallunatic said:

    @PJH said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    As the result of a lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard, merchants are allowed to charge people an extra fee if they pay with a credit card. I have yet to encounter anyone who does this,
    Car dealerships in the UK tend to do this.

    You are allowed to just charge a car in the UK?!  That seems like a purchase that shouldn't be getting put on something like that.

    Why ever not? If your limit is sufficient, there's no reason why you can't. You may have to have a chat with the CC customer services to confirm that it is you doing it however.

    It is more usual, IIRC, however to just charge a deposit on a CC and pay the rest from a current account to get Section 75 protection (basically CC card and supplier providing goods and services are jointly and severally liable for a full refund in the case of breach of contract on the part of the supplier for goods/services between £100-£30,000, if at least part of the bill is paid for by CC. Such cover is not guaranteed if the sum total is paid for directly from a bank account.)


  • @eViLegion said:

    @Ronald said:
    @Pascal said:

    I have a MasterCard I use for places that don't take Discover.

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    Do Subaru not sell the Impreza WRX to you guys? That car goes like lubricated shit off a greased shovel.

    Do they sell them at Wilkins Hyundai and Subaru, where I'm told they have Hundyais and Subarus?



  • What is a @Ronald said:

    Hundyais



  • @dhromed said:

    @D-Coder said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @Ronald said:

    Why do you use Discover? That's like driving a Subaru. Wtf.

    Discover is the Subaru of credit cards.

    Car analogies are the Rolls Royces of analogies.

     

    That's because cars are as commonplace as cars.

     

    Obligatory 'Yo, dawg...' goes here.



  • @DaveK said:

    Obligatory 'Yo, dawg...' goes here.
     

    There's no obligation. If you want to, please do as you please.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    Of course, by using a credit card, you've also reduced their cost to handle cash and the ability of employees to walk off with some of that cash.
    Yeah, the costs of handling cash are rather high. For example, you've got to pay to get the cash taken off-site regularly, and you've got an elevated risk of the store being robbed so you're paying more for insurance.



  • @dhromed said:

    @DaveK said:

    Obligatory 'Yo, dawg...' goes here.
     

    There's no obligation. If you want to, please do as you please.

    I was feeling lazy so I left it implied.

    Still am, so I didn't even bother finishing thi...



  • @DaveK said:

    I was feeling lazy so I left it implied.

    Still am, so I didn't even bother finishing thi...

     

    You preferred typing three dots instead of 1 s.

     

    I'm going to heighten my scrutiny of anything you say from now on, if that's okay with you.



  • @dhromed said:

    @DaveK said:

    I was feeling lazy so I left it implied.

    Still am, so I didn't even bother finishing thi...

     

    You preferred typing three dots instead of 1 s.

     

    And a space, and the word 'post'.
    @dhr... said:

    I'm going to heighten my scrutiny of anything you say from now on, if that's okay with you.

    See that you do. Everything I say is of earth-shattering impor...



  • @DaveK said:

    See that you do.
     




  • @dhromed said:

    @DaveK said:

    See that you do.
     


    Not sure if scrutinizing anything I say or just...



  • @DaveK said:

    @dhromed said:

    @DaveK said:

    See that you do.
     


    Not sure if scrutinizing anything I say or just...
     

     


     



  • @dkf said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Of course, by using a credit card, you've also reduced their cost to handle cash and the ability of employees to walk off with some of that cash.
    Yeah, the costs of handling cash are rather high. For example, you've got to pay to get the cash taken off-site regularly, and you've got an elevated risk of the store being robbed so you're paying more for insurance.

    I'll go ahead and admit my ignorance and ask this: what exactly do credit card companies, like Visa or MasterCard, do? Obviously they give credit, handle the servers and keep track of the CC numbers, but aren't those things BANKS also do? I mean the whole point of banks, from a customer's point of view, is to handle your money and let you make transactions over the internet, so why do they let the most important part (commercial transactions) be dominated by a few smaller companies? Surely it can't that hard to release their own "payment cards" (or phone apps or electronic tokens or whatever works), with purchase protection, credit, and all that?



  • @spamcourt said:

    I'll go ahead and admit my ignorance and ask this: what exactly do credit card companies, like Visa or MasterCard, do?
     

    Same as insurers, except CC companies don't try to prevent payouts with all their might.

    It's like a subscription to buying stuff.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @spamcourt said:

    I'll go ahead and admit my ignorance and ask this: what exactly do credit card companies, like Visa or MasterCard, do? Obviously they give credit, handle the servers and keep track of the CC numbers, but aren't those things BANKS also do?
    They act as an intermediary between the customers, the vendors and the banks. They make it so that you can go to a store pretty much anywhere and just use the card to give a promise to pay. The store doesn't need to have any kind of prior relationship with you or your bank; it's enormously simpler. There's more to it in some jurisdictions (e.g., the UK) and there are now similar-but-different alternatives as well like debit card systems (ironically, they often use Visa and Mastercard as intermediaries as well, but with a different fee structure) but the primary service is definitely that of being an intermediary.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @spamcourt said:

    I'll go ahead and admit my ignorance and ask this: what exactly do credit card companies, like Visa or MasterCard, do? Obviously they give credit, handle the servers and keep track of the CC numbers,
    One thing I'm fairly certain they don't do, unless someone can refute it, is to provide the actual credit facilities. It's my understanding that they are merely rival networks which the banks that do provide the credit use.



    On top of all that you have the banks 'subcontracting' the credit facilities to other firms under re-branded credit cards.



    So no, I don't think V & MC actually provide credit facilities or CC numbers (though there are restrictions on what the first few digits can be in the same manner as international telephone numbers and IMSI numbers.)





    So, for example WTFCompany could apply to WTFBank to have a re-branded card with WTFCompany's logo plastered all over it. Credit facilities, card numbers and payments etc would be handled by WTFBank.



    WTFCompany would pay for things like cash-back, promoting the card. Probably be on the hook for some/all delinquencies.



    Which of Visa of MasterCard (or any of the others - see wikilink) would depend on a mixture of which of the networks WTFBank has contacts with, with maybe WTFCompany having a say.



  • @spamcourt said:

    I'll go ahead and admit my ignorance and ask this: what exactly do credit card companies, like Visa or MasterCard, do?
     

    Act as an intermediary and charge exorbitant fees.  It's all sugar topping from there.

    In the last year or so, there's been some talk of getting rid of CC companies in Canada, or at least creating a non-profit processing provider like Interac does for debit.  Merchants love Interact. They pay about $0.10 per transaction.  Compare that to the 3%-7% they pay to credit card companies.  

    Right now the movement is in the "grassroots/tinfoil hat" phase, so I don't think the CC companies really give any sorts of shits and/or fucks about it.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    In the last year or so, there's been some talk of getting rid of CC companies in Canada, or at least creating a non-profit processing provider like Interac does for debit.  Merchants love Interact. They pay about $0.10 per transaction.  Compare that to the 3%-7% they pay to credit card companies.  

    Right now the movement is in the "grassroots/tinfoil hat" phase, so I don't think the CC companies really give any sorts of shits and/or fucks about it.

    As a former small business owner I can confirm that Interac is awesome and CCs are the devil. Do you have a pointer to the grassroots people?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Lorne Kates said:

    In the last year or so, there's been some talk of getting rid of CC companies in Canada, or at least creating a non-profit processing provider like Interac does for debit. Merchants love Interact. They pay about $0.10 per transaction. Compare that to the 3%-7% they pay to credit card companies.
    How do people plan to deal with the need for resolving things when transactions go sour? The advantage for the consumer of credit is that if the merchant tries to screw them over — don't tell me that never happens — then they have the ability to do a chargeback. With debit-based solutions, the transfer happens pretty much immediately and is enormously harder to dispute. Which is why merchants love it, especially the shadier ones who like to bilk some customers and skip to another town instead of delivering the goods/service.

    Don't get me wrong, we've got both mechanisms here in the UK. Debit tends to be cheaper (as merchants are allowed to have a surcharge for credit cards here), but credit tends to be safer if there's any chance of things going wrong; the laws governing consumer credit are very strict.



  • @studog said:

    As a former small business owner I can confirm that Interac is awesome and CCs are the devil. Do you have a pointer to the grassroots people?
     

    Good place to start would be [url="http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/article/5278-credit-cards-where-is-your-money-going.html"]Canadian Federation of Independent Business[/url]. They're the ones who came up with [url="http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/article/3164-code-of-conduct-for-the-credit-and-debit-card-industry-in-canada.html"]Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry[/url], lead the lawsuit agains Visa & Mastercard's practices (unfortunately unsuccessful as of a few months ago), etc. 

    It was the outcome of that lawsuit that brought up the topic of not-for-profit credit card processing (used to have a link, but it's been buried in a sea of "How Visa helps process payments for your not-for-profit busienss" links, fucks a lot Google).


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