It isn’t as common as it used to be – but there are still some retailers in Ireland who apply a minimum spend if you want to pay by card. We have heard of a €5 or even a €10 minimum spend requirement in some shops. It is usually the smaller retailers that apply this restriction. This can be annoying – especially since the banks and the government are encouraging us to use contactless cards more and use less cash.
Because of new EU regulations – it has been against the rules for anyone to apply a surcharge to card payments since January 2018. But there is no legislation about applying a minimum spend on debit or credit cards.
The main reason that retailers want customers to spend a minimum amount on a card is because of the charges they have to pay to card providers and payment processing companies. The processing charges can be as much as 50c with some payment providers – so you can see why retailers don’t want to accept very small payments by card.
Mastercard and Visa – the two main card types used in Ireland – have sets of rules for retailers who accept their cards. Both of their rules state that setting a minimum transaction amount is not allowed in the EU.
Mastercard have an online form you can use to report a retailer who is breaking that rule – Here
The reality is that most people will just accept it, use cash – or shop somewhere else.