LOCAL NEWS

Shoppers Taken By Surprise As Smith’s Stops Accepting Visa Credit Cards

Apr 3, 2019, 12:23 PM | Updated: 1:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Shoppers can no longer swipe their Visa credit cards at Smith’s grocery stores.

The decision to no longer accept the cards came last month citing excessive usage charges. The policy went into effect Wednesday.

The news of the change was reported beginning March 1. However, despite the warnings, many shoppers were surprised at the checkout when they handed over their Visa credit cards.

Smith’s will still accept debit and prepaid cards, but some shoppers said it’s inconvenient and costs them the benefits of using their cards as credit — like earning miles with airlines.

According to Smith’s, Visa imposes significantly higher interchange and network fees on its retailers that drive up food prices for all customers. A spokesperson for Smith’s said Visa’s fees are the highest of any credit card accepted at their stores and exceed the revenue and profit margins.

“I mean, I literally don’t own another credit card,” said Brian Kuepper.

“Luckily she had one,” he added, gesturing toward Rose Bentley.

“I had American Express,” Bentley said. “It was very frustrating. We were scrambling.”

Kuepper said the couple “probably won’t come back” to Smith’s because of the credit card ban.

“I’d have to take out cash to come here,” he said.

Smith’s is the second Kroger subsidiary to stop accepting Visa credit cards since last August. Visa said cardholders are their first priority and their goal is to ensure every cardholder can use their Visa wherever they wish to shop.

Smith’s is still optimistic they can negotiate with Visa, but for now the ban is in place to maintain low prices.

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