25 August 2009

3 Surcharges Added into my Grocery Bill

Store loyalty rewards cards cost me money.  Safeway and Albertsons and I'm sure others in different parts of the US give gas discounts.  Having $1.30 per gallon savings off my next fill-up left me wondering how much extra I've spent to earn those rewards.  With credit cards a store will increase costs for everyone to cover expenses of processing those cards.  Albertsons is likely charging everyone extra to more than cover the gas fill-up savings.

By shopping at a store with loyalty or rewards cards with gas bonuses i am likely paying 3 surcharges that i might be able to avoid.  My prices must cover the loyalty discounts.  My prices must cover gas rewards.  My prices must cover credit card transaction fees.  Not many stores manage avoiding passing these fees onto their customers.  The only large retailer i know that avoids these surcharges is Costco.  They charge a membership fee that most stores do not charge.

What can you do to avoid these surcharges?  You may not want to.  I pay to shop at Costco and pay for these surcharges because i am spending less for the items i buy than shopping somewhere else that will not charge them.  Some smaller shops might save you some or all the surcharges.  Only avoid these charges if you are saving money by avoiding them.

Let us know what you do in the comments.

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