Sunday, January 08, 2012

How using credit cards hurts small business

I learned something interesting today at a gas station. I went in to buy a diet coke and wasn't thinking and pulled out my credit card to pay. When the clerk asked if I was paying with debit or credit I suddenly remembered my New Years resolution to give the credit card companies as little money as possible and paid with cash instead. I also mentioned my resolution to him and received some interesting information.

It turned out that the person running the register was in fact the owner, and he said that if a customer pays cash for gas, his profit on one gallon of gas is 22 cents. The rest goes to pay his supplier and federal, state, and county taxes. However, if someone pays by credit card, the credit card company gets 8 cents per gallon plus charges 15 cents for the swipe.

Doing the math, if you pay for gas by credit card, you give 36% or more of the owners profit to credit card companies. Wouldn't you rather give that money to the small business owner?

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone knew this. Sounds like a job for the Occupy movement. Instead of doing something stupid like blocking traffic, post yourselves at local gas stations of pass out fliers with this information.