Different Prices for Cash and Credit Card Charges in the Philippines

by Paolo Caesar

You might have had this experience. You wanted to buy a gadget. You looked for it. You found it. You opted to pay for it via credit card and then pay it in full later so you get bonus points (or whatever feature/benefit the credit card has…). You found out that it was more expensive to pay for it via cc than to pay for it via cash. The seller said it was their “promo” but are they telling the truth?

Most of the time no. There is no such thing as a discounted price when using cash as a means to pay. Actually, it is illegal to have 2 different price tags for the same product or service according to Article 81 of Republic Act 7394. If you encounter a merchant practicing this, then you can report it to DTI via their hotline number 7513330.

Now, I’ve encountered this malpractice firsthand. I went to Lim Dental & Orthodontic Clinic in Pacita to get my teeth checked. To cut the story short, I’ve acquired their services for a root canal on one of my teeth and their price for that is P3,500. When I was about to pay, I said that I’ll use my credit card and instantly they said that I would have to pay a surcharge of 6% of the total amount. That would be 3500 * 1.06 = 3710, an extra P210! I knew about Article 81 and mentioned it to them and asked what the 6% was for. They said that the bank was charging them for every credit card swipe and thus they would have to increase their price. That could be true but the point is they are breaking the law. They should shoulder that 6% as part of their business expenses and not burden their customers.

Having said that, this post is not meant to discourage you to avail of their service. No, on the contrary they do have good dentists and they have been in the business for quite sometime now. I won’t even report them to DTI as I’ve been availing of their services for half a decade now. This post is simply meant to inform you and anyone reading (is there anyone reading? lolz) this post and is thinking of going there for a dental appointment to simply use cash to pay. If you use your credit card, then you would be paying more than you should. I use my credit card because I collect points (Mabuhay Miles) or simply to avail of cash rebates (1%) and then pay it off in full. If you are using your credit card for credit which is the worst way to use a credit card, then stop there. Don’t do it as you might fall into the debt trap.

Going back to the topic, having different price tags for cash and credit is illegal. If you want to report such a violation, you can call DTI at 7513330. For more information on this, check out the links below:

http://www.pinoymoneytalk.com/cash-credit-card-prices/
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/10/17/10/credit-card-surcharges-are-unlawful-says-dti

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Comments (4)

 

  1. Pacita1 says:

    I didn’t knew about that law thanks for sharing it! Hmm para pwede ko rin sa kanila sabihin yan haha! Taga pacita din ako and i’m searching for the price of retainer around pacita pero ito nabasa ko haha! 🙂

  2. Paolo Caesar says:

    hehe ok 🙂

  3. JunKisaragi says:

    Was looking for this law as I am astounded with the current trend of “different price tags” for cash and credit card purchases with regard to electronic items (mainly phones) when I found your blog. Nice find IMO. 🙂

    I think having the 6% included with their price to begin with solves their problem of going against Art. 81 to 83 of RA 7394. Stores or establishments circumvent this law by passing the regular cash price as “discounted” whilst the price with surcharges on it becomes the “regular price”, which is the one they usually display.

    Unfortunately though, this law does not mention installment purchases for credit cards. Guess I have to do a lot more research.

    BTW, also from Pacita I here. My dentist though is Dra. Mendavia (right across 7-11). Haha!

  4. Paolo Caesar says:

    Yeah, unfortunately that’s the way it works 😐

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