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Thread: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp cards

  1. #1
    BBatesokc's Avatar
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    Angry Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp cards

    Had a really irritating situation happen to me recently at Sam's Club. I went in on August 1st to do some shopping and I noticed it was absolutely full of people. They were 10+ deep at each register. I commented to an employee that they sure were busy. The employee said "that's how it is now on the 1st since we started taking food stamps." Seriously? They won't take my Visa or Mastercard (Okay they'll take my BOK debit card) but they'll take a food stamp card!

    I won't get into the 'in a perfect world it makes sense to allow people on gov't assistance access to cheaper bulk food.' Because the MWC Sam's is NOT a perfect world.

    I kid you not, I stood two persons back from a woman who had a cart full of candy that was going into vending machines somewhere in the city. I know this because she was telling someone else which snacks had a better profit margin.

    When she goes to pay she whips out her SNAP card!!!!!!!!!

    I seriously tried to get her tag number (cuz I'm a snitch that way, get over it) but I couldn't get checked out fast enough.

  2. #2
    lcd1712's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    I haven't shopped there for a while, but I remember they took Mastercard credit card. The reason they won't accept credit is due to the credit card fees which eat into their already low margins. I suspect it doesn't cost them much to accept food stamps.

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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    They take Chase Mastercard. I've been using mine for years. Used it two days ago.
    Still corrupting young minds

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    FritterGirl is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    They used to only take DiscoverCard. I dropped my membership from there years ago. Just didn't go enough to justify the bulk quantities and cost "savings," even when I tried co-oping with my mom. I'm still holding out for a Cosco.

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    jmarkross is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Quote Originally Posted by FritterGirl View Post
    They used to only take DiscoverCard. I dropped my membership from there years ago. Just didn't go enough to justify the bulk quantities and cost "savings," even when I tried co-oping with my mom. I'm still holding out for a Cosco.
    Costco is a great place. Who the hell uses a Discover card for anything???

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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Costco only takes American Express, I just use my debit card (or cash) or the wife might write a check.

    I have used a Mastercard (probably more than a year ago) and my bank debit card at Sam's, about the only time that I use a credit card is if the purchase is larger than my "daily terminal limit" on the debit card. The credit card fees are why they never took them many years ago until they negotiated some deal with Discover.

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    BBatesokc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    I've tried my Visa and my Mastercard and only my debit Visa card will work there. They said virtually no Visa's work and I haven't tried my Mastercard in years. Weird though, you can use any credit card when you're paying for an online order - even Amex.

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    bluedogok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    I don't remember Sam's ever taking Visa, they started taking Mastercard a few years ago, I remember something in the mail about it. I have used either the Mastercard or Visa for a Costco.com order a few years ago.

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    usmbubba is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    I've used my Mastercard at the Sams in MWC numerous times, last week I used it to purchase gas there.

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    Kerry is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Quote Originally Posted by jmarkross View Post
    Costco is a great place. Who the hell uses a Discover card for anything???
    From the Family Guy

    "Hey Lois, this guy here is trying to pay with a Discover card!"
    "Oh, they're in an exclusive club called Anybody!"
    "Sir, I would rather take two bits of string than your credit card. I would rather take a jar of pennies who's value is less than that of your bill"
    "You don't have to insult me"
    "No no, you are going to sit here and listen to all the things I'd rather take than your fly by night credit card"

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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Quote Originally Posted by jmarkross View Post
    Costco is a great place. Who the hell uses a Discover card for anything???
    I use Discover card all the time. Would someone please tell me why it's so highly wrong and stupid to use Discover.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Nothing wrong it, they just aren't as "popular" as the other cards. My parents have a Mastercard and a Discover and they use the Discover card when they use a card (not very often) if the place takes it. They do not have the bank debit/Visa cards, they still write checks and go to the bank to get cash for the most part.

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    BBatesokc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    I dropped my Discover Card a long time ago after I realized they do two-cycle billing. Don't know if they still do that or not, but that was a deal breaker with me.

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    ljbab728 is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    This is just a legitmate question because I really don't know the answer. When merchants accept food stamp cards do they have to pay a fee like they do when they accept a credit card?

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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    I don't believe so because that is a state administered program and a different deal entirely from the acceptance of bank/debit cards which are business contracted services. The approval gets routed through the server to a different service, you can contract the credit/debit card service through many different vendors, the food stamp cards connect to whomever the state has contracted to manage it. Usually Discover and Amex route to their service through the reader from the Visa/MC/Debit card reader. That is what I remember when trying to resolve some issues for a friend with their POS system.

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    ljbab728 is offline Gold Member
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedogok View Post
    I don't believe so because that is a state administered program and a different deal entirely from the acceptance of bank/debit cards which are business contracted services. The approval gets routed through the server to a different service, you can contract the credit/debit card service through many different vendors, the food stamp cards connect to whomever the state has contracted to manage it. Usually Discover and Amex route to their service through the reader from the Visa/MC/Debit card reader. That is what I remember when trying to resolve some issues for a friend with their POS system.
    I just asked my question because I thought that could have some bearing in whether a merchant might or might not accept a credit card when they accept a food stamp card.

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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Convenience stores loves food stamp cards because many of these families on SNAP are either too lazy to go to an actual grocery store or do not have a car and instead buy all their groceries at overpriced places like 7-11. I would almost bet this is the reason one of the dollar store chains has expanded their grocery department to about 1/3 of the entire store. While many low income communities will not have a good grocery store, you can always count on them having dollar stores and convenience stores (not to mention liquor store - though you can't use SNAP there, you can use your welfare card).

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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedogok View Post
    That is what I remember when trying to resolve some issues for a friend with their POS system.
    Point Of Sale, right?

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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Quote Originally Posted by AAC2005 View Post
    Point Of Sale, right?
    Not when it ain't working well

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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Quote Originally Posted by ljbab728 View Post
    I just asked my question because I thought that could have some bearing in whether a merchant might or might not accept a credit card when they accept a food stamp card.
    I don't think it does but the system that I worked on didn't take them as they didn't sell products that would qualify. That was right around the time of the transition from coupons to electronic for the assistance.

    Quote Originally Posted by AAC2005 View Post
    Point Of Sale, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by kevinpate View Post
    Not when it ain't working well
    Yeah...that was it....I called it both of those at times.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    In MWC, I've used a visa, mastercard, discover, and a visa debit. I've never had any issues with any form of payment there.

    And as for the Discover haters, I actually stopped using my mastercard rewards card recently after they chopped the rewards in half and put a cap on the amount you could get them to pay you back at a time. You used to be able to cash out rewards all at once...great at christmas. Now you only get them in $50 increments. AND instead of getting $2 on gas and other items, now everything is only $1. With Discover, I get points for every single purchase, not just certain items. They are redeamable in many forms including gift cards. Those work out great because we use them to buy presents for people...birthdays/christmas.

    There are certain places where you have to tell them you're using a discover though. They run it differently for some reason.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    In MWC, I've used a visa, mastercard, discover, and a visa debit. I've never had any issues with any form of payment there.
    You probably didn't use a Visa credit card inside the Sam's club. Their website says Visa (non-debit) is only accepted online.

    http://samshelpcenter.custhelp.com/a...aw%3D%3D/sno/0

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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Quote Originally Posted by BBatesokc View Post
    Convenience stores loves food stamp cards because many of these families on SNAP are either too lazy to go to an actual grocery store or do not have a car and instead buy all their groceries at overpriced places like 7-11. I would almost bet this is the reason one of the dollar store chains has expanded their grocery department to about 1/3 of the entire store. While many low income communities will not have a good grocery store, you can always count on them having dollar stores and convenience stores (not to mention liquor store - though you can't use SNAP there, you can use your welfare card).

    Bates I totally agree (oh and that's OK that you are a snitch, so am I). When I happenstance on a tax-paid anything that I feel is being abused, I turn it in. What's really gonna pi$$ us off is when restaraunts start accepting SNAP, which I hope never happens. It's bad enough some of these card-holders buy UP because its not their hard earned dollar they are spending.....

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    Kokopelli is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    In response to the original post: the basic answer is the fees charged to the retailer by the credit card processor (notice that it didn't say credit card company); debit cards (issued by banks & tied to checking) charge fees of around 1.% with the ave being around 0.75%, credit cards on the other hand charge the retailer up to 4.% with an ave around 2.75%, Amex charges more than the average. And that percentage is charged on the dollar amount of each sale paid for by the card. Thus companies like Sams that claim they operate on a 3 to 5 % profit margin could and did see profits ate up by the processing fees. Thats why until recently Sams didn't accept many or no credit cards. Gasoline has a very low profit margin per gallon and when gas was above $3. a gallon alot of convience stores were breaking even or losing money if the sale was paid by credit card.

    That is the easy part of the answer, the more confusing part: of why certain cards work at some stores and not work at others, and why some stores don't accept certain cards and not others like Discover & American Express. Because of recent litigation by WalMart/Sams the first part of this answer excludes them and simplifies the answer. The confusion comes from the credit card proccessor. The proccessor is the middleman between the retailer and card issuer, the proccessor is the ones that do the grunt work of furnishing and installing the card terminals, approving sales, and working with the retailers they then provide the card issuers the data for billing. The proccessor is the one that pays the retailer (minus the proccessing fees) and then the card issuer pays the proccessor. The proccessor is typically not owned by the credit card companies and unlike the card companies there are literally thousands of companies that do credit card processing. A card proccessor has to have a license or agreement with each card issuers in order to process that company's card and that why some stores don't accept Discover, Diners Club and even American Express, their proccessor doesn't have an agrreement. Alot of national brands/chains and larger banks have their own card proccessing departments.
    Debit cards is where it gets tricky, in the early days of debit card the bank that issued the debit card also had their own in house proccesing department and they provided the retailer with a seperate card terminal only for proccessing debit cards. As a retailer if you didn't have that banks terminal you couldn't accept that debit card. Thus debit card use was limited until an agreement was made with Visa and Mastercard. In general terms it allowed a debit card to be accepted anywhere in the country if the debit card has a Visa or MC logo but to achieve this acceptability debit cards were charged the higher processing fees. Since the only party paying the fee was the retailer most retailers welcomed the opportunity at accept debit cards and the issuing bank loved the reduction in paper checks they had to handle.

    One company that didn't like the new arangement was Walmart/Sams, and a couple of years ago they sued Visa and Mastercard over the proccessing fees and won. The victory adds many millions of dollars a year to their bottom lime and is the reason that one can now in some retailers use their debit cards with a pin number. Part of that settlement included a deal with Mastercard and thats why certain Mastercards are taken at some Sams. So because of Walmart many retailers are paying less for accepting debit cards as credit card proccessors are adapting to the new rules.
    Now for the Snap cards, now days many states offer their welfare and unemployed clients the option of a debit card rather than receiving a paper check. These are basicly debit cards so the proccessing fees is the lower fee plus there is less risk and paperwork for Sams.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Sam's Club won't take my Credit Card but they've got no problem with Food Stamp c

    Thanks for the explanation, Kokopelli. You did a good job putting that in layman's terms.

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