Are $10 credit card minimums fair?
Yesterday, when I hit up Johnny Rad's, my beer cost $3.25. I looked in my wallet, and realized I only had three one-dollar bills (such is the life of a two-bit hack journalist).
Feeling like a schmuck, I had to give the bartender my credit card. To try and set things right, I tipped him two bucks in cash.
This would never have happened at Club Charles or The Ottobar, because they both require $10 minimums on credit card purchases. Ditto for Down the Hatch. I realize this policy is because credit card companies take a big cut of every charge a customer makes. From what I understand, the bars would barely see a penny if you were running up $2 and $3 tabs. But how do you feel about it? I want to hear from bar owners and bar-goers alike ...
I know people who are afraid of carrying cash -- period -- in some Baltimore neighborhoods, so they carry credit cards instead. But if they go to a place like Club Chuck, they have to buy three or four beers just to use their credit cards.
Lucky's, the convenience store on Fort Avenue, tacks on an extra 25- or 50-cent fee for every purchase made with a credit card under a certain amount (sorry guys, I can't remember the exact number, it's been a while since I was there). Why can't more bars do this, instead of minimums?
Forgive me if I'm missing a law that prohibits these practices (I was never good with math or law). But I think it's a fair question. Thoughts?