Visa Accepted At Smith’s Once Again
We are heading into the holiday season which means gift card deals galore! One of the places that has gift card promos from time to time is Kroger. In my area though Kroger is called Smith’s and they did something very very sad (and almost criminal) earlier this year. They stopped accepting Visa credit cards for payment.
So while all of you were off at your local Kroger, Ralph’s, King Soopers, Fry’s or Fred Meyer getting 4X fuel points or the latest score using a Visa card to pay, I was stuck to using non-Visa cards to accomplish my tasks. And that sucks, because I got one of the best grocery bonus cards out there the CNB Crystal Visa Infinite.
Smith’s Embraces Visa?
So the news has been bad, but things are looking up. Kroger has announced that their fruitless battle against interchange fees at Smith’s has failed. Okay, they didn’t admit that but they have announced that Smith’s will once again be accepting Visa credit cards for payment. JUST IN TIME for the holidays!
Battle Against Fees
At the time of their initial move back in April, Kroger CFO Mike Schlotman said, “They conceal from customers what Visa and its banks charge retailers to accept Visa credit cards. At Smith’s, Visa’s credit card fees are higher than any other credit card brand that we accept.”
It is clear that Kroger was attempting to take a shot at Visa by pulling only the Smith’s brand, but apparently it hasn’t worked. I can’t tell you how many times I have attempted to use a Visa card at Smith’s because I forgot about the ban. I have seen countless others do the same. It is a huge inconvenience for customers and it appears on the surface Visa won this game of chicken.
In this week’s MtM podcast (Episode 12 coming out 10/31/19) we discuss the possibility of interchange fees going down or away completely and how that will change things in the miles/points space. While that fate is probably somewhat inevitable, for now Visa seems to have fought off Kroger and won the battle. Now bring on the deals! I’m saving for a Disney cruise.