You Don’t Accept Credit Cards…Are You Sure?

If you’re a true world wanderluster, it has happened to you.  You’re shameless at asking, and have no fear taking your business elsewhere when they tell you no.  You make the call, and after finding that the price is reasonable you ask the question that matters more than the price (almost), “Do you accept credit cards?” Sheepishly the business owner responds, “No, I can’t afford the fees they charge me to accept credit cards.”

Your heart sinks, and you begin to feel sick to your stomach.  How could you make such an expense without getting miles?!  It isn’t possible.  You’d regret not having those 200 AAdvantage miles, and you’re not sure that you’re willing to go thorough with the deal anymore.  You begin to doubt, and don’t know what to do.

Are You Sure You Don’t Accept Credit Cards?

Credit cards Français : Cartes de crédit Itali...

Credit Cards (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

This moment happened to me within the last month.  My wife has been asking me since we moved into our house to put up some rain gutters on our house.  Keeping the ice from building up on the driveway is a major motivator at this point as we get closer to winter.

I did just as mentioned above, I called around and found out that the prices were all similar everywhere we looked.  When I decided to go with Custom Rain Gutters, I made the call to Gary.  After a bit of chit chat, and me announcing to him that he was chosen as the bidder for my rain gutters, he seemed delighted.  Then the conversation turned sour for me, listen in:

  • Me      “You accept credit cards, right?”
  • Gary  “Unfortunately we don’t.  We used to, but couldn’t afford the fees and didn’t want to pass the costs on to the consumer.”
  • Me      “Hmm.  That is a real bummer for me.”

I had to come up with a plan.  I wasn’t about to let 450 frequent flyer miles just run down the rain gutter.  That is almost as painful as paying too much.

My Genius Idea

When the bill arrived in the mail, I was still wincing from pain about losing out on the miles.  Then it came to me, and there was a moment of clarity.  It’s something that I’ve used in the past, but somehow it had slipped from my mind. The solution that would satisfy both Gary and I would be Amazon Payments.

What is Amazon Payments?

Amazon Payments is a service that allows you to use your credit card to pay other individuals or businesses.  In many cases you can send them money using a credit card, and neither of you end up paying any fees.

I’ll do another post later talking about how to use Amazon Payments.

How did it work?

I called Gary and spoke with him over the phone regarding the payment. Here is how it when from there.

Me: You don’t by chance accept Amazon Payments, do you?
Gary: I don’t think so, what is that?
Me: It is a service that allows me to send you money by using a credit card, up to a certain limit, and neither of us have to pay any fees for using the credit card. You just need to sign up for an Amazon account.
Gary: Well, I guess I could give it a shot. Why don’t you send the money and I’ll see if I can work it out.
Me: Great. I’ll send the money to your email address, let me confirm that….

Being much more sensitive than I, my wife turns to me and says, “You made that poor gentleman accept a payment method which is completely foreign to him.  Now he has to open an account and figure out how to receive his payment.”

My response was this, “I just helped him.  There are thousands of WorldWanderlusters out there who want to pay everything with their credit cards.  He could potentially be losing business to others who accept credit cards.  Now he can accept credit cards and be up with the times, without paying the price.”

In the end, I ended up with 450 AAdvantage miles and met the spending requirement on my wife’s most recent AAdvantage card.  Now Gary can accept payments without paying fees. Everyone wins in this case.

Just do it.

The next time an expense comes up and the service provider embarrassingly admits, I don’t accept credit cards, you can give them an alternative that will help both of you.  You’ll earn your miles, and he will earn your business.

Create an Amazon Payments account today and stop missing out on so many miles!


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10 Responses to You Don’t Accept Credit Cards…Are You Sure?

  1. Ken says:

    You could also have sent him a check through Bluebird 😉

  2. Steve says:

    I was under the impression Amazon Payments cost 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction:

    If so, that is a steep price to pay for 450 miles.

  3. Judd says:

    Actually $13 for 450 miles is a deal, but it is too bad they charge a fee. Nothing is really free anymore.
    I wonder if the bank would take my down payment on a house via Amazon Marketplace 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Technically, the cost isn’t $13 for for 450 miles, but $450 +$13 for 463 miles. Yes, you were going to spend $450 anyways, but it’s not like it is a solitary $13 expense for 450 miles.

  4. Steve says:

    Here is an interesting tactic for using Amazon Payments as well as potentially meeting some card spending requirements.

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