General Question

maudie's avatar

What's a great way to stop using credit cards but keep Mint-friendly electronic transaction records?

Asked by maudie (363points) February 26th, 2010

So, credit card companies suck for small businesses, and for pretty much everyone other than a few big companies. I’d like to stop using credit cards but keep all the conveniences of electronic transaction records, Mint-syncability of accounts, etc. I never carry a balance or any of that nonsense. What are some thing you’ve tried that keep currency electronic but fee-free and small-business-friendly?

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9 Answers

sferik's avatar

Is it possible to use a debt card (linked to a checking or savings account) or a charge card (like American Express) for you business? What specifically don’t you like about credit cards?

maudie's avatar

@sferik I don’t like the fees charged to the small business when I use cards at their retail or online locations. I’d love to just pay cash, but then I have to keep a manual log of payments, which is just not gonna happen. I want electronic cash with real-time electronic transaction records, I guess.

ebandar's avatar

So you’re going ala our local Italian restaurant, and cash only? One option is to use Mint’s ‘split’ function. You could split an ATM withdrawal into separate transactions/categories, but of course it has to add up to the total withdrawal. The other option is a debit card.

maudie's avatar

Thanks, @ebandar, I hadn’t known about Mint’s split function and will check it out. However, I still have to remember to log into Mint after the fact to split up the transaction, right? Anything potentially better out there?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have a Chase small business account and there are no fees if the balance is above a certain limit. $1000? (I don’t remember.) The card must be used at least once per month. I buy gas with it to make sure I never forget.

maudie's avatar

Thanks @worriedguy. In this particular question, I’m actually concerned primarily with the fees being charged to the business I’m purchasing from, not the fees that the credit card company or bank is charging me.

srmorgan's avatar

How about writing checks?

Fieryspoon's avatar

Credit cards are ubiquitous now. The additional costs of doing business are already included in the prices that you’re paying. If they need to mark up their prices by 3% in order to compensate for the cost of credit cards, then you’re stuck paying that 3% increase no matter what. With the exception of a few circumstances where you incur an additional 50 cent fee for charging or something like that, you’re going to be paying those increased fees regardless of your actual payment choices.

In fact, if you choose not to pay with credit card, then you’re choosing to pay that fee twice, since you’ll often see those fees come back to you in the form of credit card rewards.

Some companies don’t allow credit cards and as a result, they can offer cheaper prices. But if they do accept credit cards, you’re paying for those convenience fees no matter what.

maudie's avatar

@Fieryspoon I understand that the costs of credit cards are already built in to current product prices. However, because the US government is contemplating overturning the law that has until lately required retailers to charge the same price to credit card users and cash users, it’s possible that very soon you’ll have the choice to either pay the 3% markup and use your card to get it back indirectly via your rewards program, or avoid the 3% markup entirely by using cash. I want to be prepared to live in a world free from credit card markup, and possibly hasten the arrival of that world, by having a good financial product that’s better for the small business and, hopefully, also cheaper for me than the current pricing markup system.

So, thanks for all the answers so far, but I’m still waiting for the answer I’m looking for!

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