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Roundup: Tips, Walmart and fees

By Janna Herron ·
Friday, August 31, 2012
Posted: 12 pm ET

Before you head off for your long weekend, let me leave you with a few newsy credit card tidbits.

First up: Now it's possible to leave a little something for your barista in the tip jar, even if you don’t have any cash or coins on hand. A Brooklyn startup has created an electronic tip jar -- called DipJar -- that accepts debit and credit card tips. Simply dip the card in the reader -- housed in a canister -- and it will deduct a preset amount, usually $1. The fixed tip is labeled on the outside of the canister.

So far, DipJars can be found in two Manhattan coffee shops and one Brooklyn dessert truck. But if it catches on, maybe one will appear at your local Starbucks or Baskin Robbins.

Second: Walmart is giving its cardholders in 20 states a break on gas prices until Christmas Eve. The world's largest retailer said those who pay with its MoneyCard or credit card will save 15 cents per gallon.

Last, Allegiant Air is the first U.S. airline to charge consumers more if they pay with a credit card versus a debit card. Travel blogger George Hobica noticed the $4 debit card discount on Allegiant's website. He provided a screen shot as proof.

It's possible other airlines will follow, given the industry has become fee happy lately. However, it seems silly to charge a consumer more if they pay with the airlines' co-branded credit card. Maybe those cards will be the exception.

You may soon get hit with fees in other places, too.

A proposed settlement over credit card swipe fees could make it possible for any merchant to levy a credit card fee on consumers.

A class-action lawsuit brought by major retailers alleges that Visa, MasterCard and 13 major banks conspired to keep the cost of processing a credit card transaction high. These so-called swipe fees cost retailers between 1 to 5 percent of each transaction. Under their deal, Visa, MasterCard and the banks would pay retailers $7.25 billion and eliminate the ban on retailers to charge more for credit card purchases.

With the ban lifted, many retailers could add fees to help pay for those credit card transactions.

Several retailers, including Walmart, are against the settlement because it doesn't provide enough protections for retailers against future swipe fee increases. It's still up in the air, but the prospect of credit card surcharges at retailer registers still looms.

Would you pay credit card surcharges or change your payment habits? Mull it over this long weekend.

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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October 22, 2012 at 10:22 am

Under the agreements with most criedt card companies, they have the right to raise you rate at any time. You have the recourse to opt out of the change and continue repaying under your former rate however, if you elect to do this, they'll usually close your account.There is one exception to the opt out right: account default. Default means that you have broken some provision within the user agreement, and therefore the provisions of that contract no longer apply. Under that scenario, all rates can be increased immediately and you have no opt-out right.Your cardmember agreement stipulates what can trigger default. Typical provisions are a delinquency or an account overlimit condition. However, some issuers include Universal Default provisions you are considered in default if a delinquency with another criedtor is reported on your criedt report. Some also include a general provision that if your overall criedt worthiness declines (such as indicated by a criedt score decrease), you're considered in default.Universal Default came under considerable criticism last year, and most (but not all) issuers have abandoned it. However, some still provide for it it sounds like yours is one.

September 05, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Is there a site for inquiring about credit card laws?

September 04, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Which 20 states??