Kroger Takes Action Against Visa's Swipe Fees
Kroger has stopped taking Visa cards at the 21 stores and five fuel centers it operates under the Foods Co. banner in California to protest the cost of the company's swipe fees, Bloomberg reports.
The largest grocery operator in the U.S. could be using a tiny portion of its 2,779 stores as a trial balloon to see if it can punish credit card operators without losing shoppers.
“It’s pretty clear we need to move down this path, and if we have to expand that beyond Foods Co., we’re prepared to take that step,” Kroger spokesman Chris Hjelm told Bloomberg.
Kroger already favors Visa's primary rival, offering a Rewards World Mastercard through U.S. Bank that gives users one point for every $1 spent, doubling that number for purchases made at Kroger stores and tripling it for money spent on private label products. Shoppers who earn 1,000 by the end of the quarter receive $5 in free groceries. Cardholders also receive an additional 25 cents off per gallon purchased at Kroger fuel centers for a full year when they redeem 100 Fuel Points earned through the retailer's loyalty program.