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Paying wedding vendors via credit

February 16, 2010

We owe a wedding vendor $1500 (and we owe many others much more).

Most vendors insist on payment in advance of the date.   However many have super low initial deposit requirements, and several have offered us the choice to pay in small installments over time.   This is generally not the way I roll, but I can see how it is a popular way to get people to sign up and to pay you.

Anyway, this vendor’s total price was $1700, and we put down the relatively tiny $200 deposit months ago.  They request a cashiers check within 2 weeks of the date, but that sounded inconveinent so I thought we’d just pay them now via credit.

They charge a 3% fee, but I want to pay with my credit card for the protection.  If something goes horribly wrong and the services aren’t delivered, I want protection from the power of Visa.

Have you ever paid an extra fee  for the peace of mind of using credit?

[Of course, we’ll pay the balance off and not pay finance charged.]

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2010 7:16 am

    I’m pretty sure it violates their merchant card agreement for them to charge you a fee for paying by credit card (some places get around this by offering a “cash discount” but the card agreements are very clear that the merchants cannot try to recoup the fees they pay by passing them along to the customer). You might want to call up your credit card company and ask them about that.

    For what it’s worth, I would totally pay by credit card for a number of reasons (paper trail, protection options, etc) but I think you should let them know that their fee could get their ability to take credit card payments entirely yanked–and I’m betting that would cost them a lot of business.

    • SP permalink*
      February 16, 2010 7:54 am

      It’s via paypal, thus they are just making me pay the fee. This seems kind of common — i wonder if it is still illegal?

      • February 28, 2010 8:39 pm

        It’s not illegal, it just violates their merchant agreements. So if Visa or MasterCard found out, they could revoke the vendor’s ability to take that particular credit card. This applies to PayPal as well.

        If you complain to PayPal or your credit card company, you will probably get your money back. You might also jeopardize the merchant relationship, though, so you have to weigh that.

  2. February 16, 2010 7:53 am

    I’ve been trying to use my credit card for wedding deposits for the same reason! Though many people see to not accept it.

  3. February 16, 2010 8:01 am

    We didn’t put any of our wedding stuff on credit (I don’t think anyone even took it – but maybe that’s to protect themselves from people claiming they didn’t deliver?), but I always use a credit card when I buy stuff online from stores I’m not sure about. I’ve heard Paypal is pretty useless in disputes, so I like to have that extra protection.

  4. February 16, 2010 10:26 am

    That’s interesting. We’ve found that most of our vendors only take cash. At least after the wedding we will have no more bills to pay (except possibly the honeymoon). We are also deciding if we should take the 0% financing on wedding rings or just buy them outright.

  5. SP permalink*
    February 16, 2010 11:27 am

    Interesting that most of you had the experience that vendors only take cash. Our photographer is the only one so far, but he only requested about 1/2 deposit. But photographers know you’ll pay them, or you won’t get your photos!

    I usually prefer to buy things outright even with 0% financing — not really sure why

  6. ldub permalink
    February 16, 2010 1:45 pm

    i actually used cash to get myself discounts with wedding vendors, negotiating lower prices by not using credit for ones i really trusted and with whom i could have contracts. on the largest expenses, i saved them a bundle by not making them pay credit card fees, and then got a portion of that bundle back for myself, so it was a win-win.

  7. February 16, 2010 2:34 pm

    Yes, I have and do. Here it’s not illegal to pass on the charges – in fact they’ve just passed new rules allowing just that! Sucks major ass.

  8. Angela permalink
    February 16, 2010 5:56 pm

    My reception venue said the same thing about the 3% charge. I went there in person to pay and the manager waved the fee. I was not willing to pay that 3% when I am able bring them the cash. Not sure if other places are willing to wave it but it can’t hurt to ask. The DJ said he would charge 3% as well so I mailed him a money order instead. I don’t know what the law is regarding extra charges like that but it seems unfair. I have used a mix of cash/credit/debit so far for our wedding. Everyone seems pretty flexible. Good luck with the rest of your plans.

  9. Christy permalink
    February 17, 2010 3:51 pm

    Here it’s not illegal to charge more to use a credit card. Years ago my husband had a store, and he used to charge 4% to those who used a credit card. He felt it was fairer to charge those who wanted the service, rather than increase prices across the board.

  10. February 17, 2010 6:08 pm

    If they’re passing along the 3% fee for rendering services and using a credit card on PayPal, I think that’s a violation of both agreements. PayPal doesn’t allow an extra fee to be levied on purchase payments either.

    • February 17, 2010 7:33 pm

      Really? I had another person do that to me (to my surprise actually)…

      Hmmmmm…. I want my $$ back!

  11. Stephanie permalink
    February 21, 2010 10:45 am

    I’m pretty sure it’s not illegal to charge fees for paying by credit card. Our local government charges an additional 3% to pay your property taxes by credit card.

  12. Krissums permalink
    May 7, 2010 1:44 pm

    When is the final payment due with wedding vendors? So far, they all want to be paid 2 weeks prior to the wedding. Is that normal?

    • May 9, 2010 4:17 pm

      yes – many did say that they wanted it 2 weeks prior. We paid the food bill and the photographer on the day of though.

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