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Cash Discounts Multiply

Paying by plastic may no longer be a shopper’s best — or cheapest — choice.

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Merchants are offering more discounts to consumers who pay with cash, and adding more strings to those who want to pay with plastic, reports The Wall Street Journal. Notably, Walgreens Co. recently cut the amount of cash back consumers can receive on a debit card purchase from $40 to $20. Other stores are refusing to process credit or debit transactions that fall below the $10 threshold allowed under recent legislation.

Retailers scored a victory a few weeks ago when the Senate voted to cap at 12 cents the fee a store pays each time in accepts a debit card. Now, merchants are taking advantage of the provisions in that law and other legislation to price fairly based on the fees they pay to process a transaction, says Rachel Wolf, a spokeswoman for Merchant Payments Coalition, an industry group. “Consumers will start to see this summer that they can actually save money by using those less expensive payment methods,” she says. The minimums protect small businesses from paying big fees on small transactions.

The new policies also provide a protective stance against banks’ next move. Issuers have already begun a push to convince consumers to use credit cards or prepaid cards instead of a debit card, says Dennis Moroney, a research director for Tower Group. Those payment methods still trigger often-crippling fees of 1% to 2% of each transaction, which merchants would like to limit, he says.

Consumers who can afford to pay in full upfront may benefit by shifting to cash, which can yield discounts even bigger than the few bucks a merchant pays in fees to the bank. Healthcare price comparison site HealthCareBlueBook.com reports that cash discounts for medical procedures can top 50%. Discounts are most common at gas stations, but merchants as varied as liquor stores, jewelers, and bed and breakfasts offer them, too.

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      Alegria
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      Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2002 2:05 pm
      -Graduated high school with a 4.12 and an IB diploma-Got into Carnegie Mellon University, Chemical Engineering-met a guy, got laid, got engaged-made many friends-graduated CMU-got a great job-moved cross-country-bought a house-got two cats-planned a wedding (T-115 days)-am happyI am most proud of the last accomplishment.
      madmanX
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      Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2002 4:32 pm
      Timdorr – no plans on slacking..I’m going to try and get the company to pay for it Clint@purdue – yea granted in your in debt now..think about it when you get out of a school like that and land a awesome job. Then you’ll be making that in a year.
      the lidless eye
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      I’ve lost 18 pounds since mid december.
      oobnuker
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      Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2002 4:47 pm
      I stayed away from alcohol until I was 23 – which allowed me to skip over the “get what you can and drink it until you puke” stages of teenaged drinking. Alas, I have never puked from drinking alcohol…Partied in various other ways with various other things in my 17-21 years and learned a lot about myself and the world. Of which I have no regrets, and am actually quite thankful for the experiences.Married. Two kids. Divorced.Lived as a single father for a period. Juggled work, daycare, kids, and sanity for a little while.Married. Won custody of my previous two kids. Gained two more kids and the Bestest Wife Ever.Beat my “Five year plan” for doing Tree-Work, and got laid off in my fourth year. I had no intention of doing it for more than five years, so I inadvertantly won this one. The lay-off changed my focus and I landed an IT job – which I have managed to increase my salary by 27% in two years.Two more kids. What can I say?I am not horribly in debt – but I have a moderate and long-standing debt with several places. I am slowly trying to pull myself out of it, but with 6 kids and a wife, with natural wife-like tendencies, it is hard…
      outcast_p
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      i earned my eagle scout. got out of high school, almost done with collage and got my drivers liscence (after 4 years of being lazy)now i need a car, get a real job, and ask someone to marry me. i mean i know who it will be just have to figure out when/how/and with what.-oc
      DaveJ
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      Not much, I’m afraid… So far I’ve:- Survived a total of 25 surgeries over a period of 25 years, for various reasons- Bought my first house last year- Graduated HS- Almost graduated college, but ended up working there instead…- Lost touch with two really good friendsI think this guy has us all beat though… Dave
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      Juris DoctoratePublished (as a co-author) one law review article (which was introduced by a governor, lt. governor, and a senator ), and one article in Spine magazine forthcoming (February)4 kids, hers, mine, ours are turning out well so far (ages 7-14)honorable discharge, USAFearned my job as associate director of a research center So far, so good. And all that from a ne’er do well in high school. Kiss my ass Mr. Vice Principal.James
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      – MCSE A+ CNAwent downhill after that-NT
      Mordac
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      i’ve written several small pieces that i’m quite happy withi’ve known lovei’ve fallen off a motorcyclei’ve learned to laugh at myself more than othersi’ve learned to identify a good red winecheersmordac
      gradedcheese
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      Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2002 12:21 am
      Right now I feel like I’ve done jack shit and I’m a general failure. But to answer the thread question, after graduating HS in ’99:- got a job as a net admin / tech / web tech at a small newspaper company in SF, worked there for a year while going to community collage- quit that job and got a job at sfgate.com as a PC Tech and worked there for a year while going to school, and for a while full-time (took a semester off… doh)- bought my dream car (literally), a 1974 BMW 3.0CS- wound up with a 1973 BMW Bavaria that was going to be cut up for parts and really fixed it up- completed several freelance web design projects (what I do for money after quiting my job to concentrate on school)-have come pretty close to finishing my engineering transfer requirements and will attempt to get into a university next school year-made a lot of good friends through the car hoby, and work. a few from school too.I guess it amounts to a lot of good ‘real world’ experience, some education, and a couple neat toys. I still feel like I’ve fucked something up though. Hopefully I’ll make it to university level and beyond ok though, that’s really my main worry now.
      Over
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      I’ve accomplished (today!) the art of converting Mac Icons to Windows Icons…
      greatoz
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      Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2002 2:21 am
      Schwanz – funny, maybe, bloody miraculous, yes, definitely. Never thought I’d ever be willing to die for something, and I mean die, without a moment’s hesitation. No questions, no regrets. Anything for her. THAT’S whats so amazing.And she [i]is[/b] cute. KTHANXBYE.tGo
      timdorr
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      Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2002 11:29 pm
      quote:Originally posted by madmanX: Timdorr – no plans on slacking..I’m going to try and get the company to pay for it I did that for a summer as an intern for my dad’s company. Boring as hell. Just try to find a job that you’ll be doing something interesting. It’ll be the best way to get a job you like (lack of work != good job).-timmah!
      ubzerver
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      Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2002 11:38 pm
      I lived another day in love and laughter… Well almost finished. It’s 9:30pm.
      54 posts • Previous 12
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    • of Debt had an article that tkeald about the importance of having your mortgage paid off before you retire.a0 I honestly can’t imagine having to still make a mortgage payment when I’m

    • jordan decided to iplinlxcitey shoot 4 long range shots in a row (hitting 2) . he couldve at any point takin him to the rim and finish . and on defense he didnt wanna hurt the guy so he laid off him. this is a freak thing that means nothing jordan would take out anyone in that camp in a 7 gamer 1on1. hes still good now . And yes he can dunk still at age 47

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  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

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