Know Your Rights: Credit Card Minimum Purchases

Know thy rights, cardholder

We have all experienced this: you walk into a grocery store or convenience shop, try to buy a much-needed umbrella or pack of Advil, only to be told, your credit card ain’t welcome here, stranger, unless you are willing to spend at least $10 (or some other arbitrary minimum amount). So you are forced to buy something else you don’t really want. Well guess what? Depending on what kind of credit card you use, the merchant may be violating their processing agreement. In most cases, you have the right to use your card, whether it’s for a $1 purchase or a $1,000 one. MainStreet obtained official replies from American Express (Stock Quote: AXP), MasterCard (Stock Quote: MA), Visa (Stock Quote: V) and Discover (Stock Quote: DFS) to see what rights their cardholders actually have. We also got a fresh perspective on this from a merchant, a prominent personal finance blogger and we spoke to some banks (at least we tried to). Some of the answers may surprise you. Photo Credit: Getty Images