| August 20, 2010

Merchants awarding cash-paying customers with discounts

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act put tighter restrictions on issuers, forcing them to rely more heavily on other means of revenue. Swipe fees, which merchants are required to pay to companies such as Visa whenever a customer uses a credit card, have become a main source of income for issuers now that they cannot spike interest rates and fees unexpectedly on members. Merchants, however, are beginning to fight back.

WSBTV in Georgia is reporting that more vendors are offering discounts to shoppers who pay with cash in attempt to avoid credit card debt. Consumers who pay with checks or cash are also affected by credit card users because merchants have to raise prices on items to make up for the lost revenue due to swipe fees. Now, more small businesses are trying to deter shoppers from using plastic and steer them toward using the change in their pockets.

While Americans are still keen on their credit cards, The Street, a financial news site, reports that delinquency rates are continuing to drop. Consumers still struggling with debt, however, could consider consolidation. By taking out a larger loan with a lower interest rate, borrowers can reduce their monthly payments.

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