Can an establishment refuse to charge you by card?

Can an establishment refuse to charge you by card? Credit: Pixabay

Can an establishment refuse to charge you by card in Spain?

The latest ‘National Survey on the Use of Cash 2020’ carried out by the Bank of Spain shows that card payments are now the preferred means of payment in Spain. At the moment more than half of all payments are made by card. According to data from Visa, 84 per cent of consumers barely leave home without their bank card.

Many establishments in Spain though do not accept cards for payments. Some places do accept cards, but only above a minimum purchase amount.

It is common to find many local shops set a minimum payment amount for card usage. This is often set at five or 10 euros before a card can be used. This is due to the fact that banks charge businesses for using card payments. For a small business this can prove to be unprofitable. Many people question whether this is legal though.

According to Yahoo Finance, “With the law in hand, it can be said that any commercial establishment is completely free to decide whether to accept a means of payment other than cash. It is therefore legal to refuse to charge by card or to impose a minimum amount for accepting this form of payment.”

If a shop does not have the facility to make card payments, they do not have to warn customers. It is up to the customer to ask if card payments are possible.

If a shop can take card payments but only accepts them over a minimum amount, then they must make this visible to customers. According to the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) establishments should not be making extra charges for card use.

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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