View Full Version : Credit Card Behind The Bar

10th Apr 2004, 19:54
Hi folks,

Anyone noticed any pubs that accept payment for drinks with a credit or dedit card? As many of you will have witnessed, establishments will not let you buy drinks on the plastic in the UK unless you are paying for food. Of course, in the USA this is not the case and rightly so. Seems pretty daft to me or are establishments avoiding a certain tax by demanding cash for drinkies? My local now swipes the plastic for drinks and about time too. Are those who forbid it doing so under some outdated ethics or what?


Boss Raptor
10th Apr 2004, 19:58
Experienced that both in the USA and Belgium...however I choose to decline...u just try checking a bar bill even when u are sober...and too easy to overdrink/overspend...too easy to just sign and realise the extra that might have been added on when it's too late a month later and that credit card bill arrives

Think it also has something to do with the handling charge the bars get hit for by the credit card company...if they take plastic then u know the booze is on the pricy side just to absorb that.

10th Apr 2004, 20:00
No, not noticed that.

Amex? Can I run you a tab? is the usual response.
Financial transactions are financial transactions. 2 % added for Paypal of course.:p

10th Apr 2004, 20:01
Don't know about those that forbid it, could be cos they have to fork out 2.5% or so to the credit card company in commission and the profit on booze makes it less than desirable...I do it though:E hic


10th Apr 2004, 20:17
I can't think of anywhere that doesn't accept either Visa or Switch for just drinks.

Some want a minimum spend (5 mostly) but they are few in number.

Several of my locals will give you cashback!

10th Apr 2004, 20:20
Several of my locals will give you cashback! yer don't get cash back on a credit card BahrainLad, could be a debit card.


10th Apr 2004, 20:40
Many years ago, I used to manage a bar, and I was told that officially it was illegal to serve alcohol on credit. This always caused confusion, as is still does now. The advice given out by the Law Society to licencees is that the following is still illegal.

"6. Sale of alcohol on credit. Sale via a credit card is probably legal."

It is the word "Probably" that still stops some bars from letting you run up a tab, and paying it on plastic


10th Apr 2004, 21:00
yer don't get cash back on a credit card

I'm frequently asked if I would also like any 'cash back', when paying by credit card.

I always politely decline, to avoid the interest that is charged with immediate effect. Unlike the purchase of goods, there is no 'interest free' period for cash obtained with a C/C.

10th Apr 2004, 21:51
Never been offered that over here spekesoftly, only on my ATM card purchases - never on credit. Could be a US/UK thingy. Where's Stockpicker, she might know.


Shaggy Sheep Driver
10th Apr 2004, 22:44
We had a work booze up last week in a super real ale pub after a 2-day get together, and we 'paid' for our drinks with raffle tickets. At the end of the evening, my boss settled up according to the number of raffle tickets taken over the bar.

Enterprising locals wers scouring the town for books of raffle tickets :)


Onan the Clumsy
11th Apr 2004, 03:04
It used to be illegal in New York to sell alcohol through a credit cars. Still that was twenty years ago :(

11th Apr 2004, 11:18
The only pubs I know of that take credit/debit cards are the real upmarket ones or souless wine bars where it costs 3 a pint. If yer were to hand over a credit card for payment in my local you would recieve a punch in the face and be swiftly @rse and necked out the door. A real blue collar pub my local is :}

11th Apr 2004, 17:13
The Crown in Woodstock was always happy to accept my plastic behind the bar as long as I was spending 5 or more (never a problem really :} ). Wouldn't have got through the ATPL without it.


I don't know any retailer in the UK who offers cashback at the till on a credit card, and all debit cards are limited to 50 only. None of the EPOS systems I've ever dealt with have had any facility to do otherwise. Are you confusing cashback with cash withdrawals using an ATM and your credit card?

11th Apr 2004, 18:01
A certain bar/restaurant not very far from where I was living in Blighty had a very bad habbit of adding the occasional drink or two when we had a tab going. The would only bring over the total bill and never an itemisied list. Took us a couple of visits to cotton on to this. And one night (which we made it very widely known to one and all in there what had hapened and we would never be coming back) the sneaky bastards added a desert to the bill. Their defence was "Oh mistakes happen". The only problem was one of the group had actually asked for this specific desert and was told "I'm sorry, we have run out of that" and it was removed from the chalkboard list. And wouldn't you know it, it magically ended up on the bill.

11th Apr 2004, 20:38

Are you confusing cashback with cash withdrawals using an ATM and your credit card?

No, definitely not. I never use a credit card for ATM cash withdrawals, for the same reason - interest charged from the transaction date.

But I am frequently asked if I would also like any cash back, when paying for goods by credit card. As previously explained, I always decline, so I've never actually 'put it to the test'.

I suppose one possible explanation is that till operators are simply mistaking my c/c for a debit card - but why so often? (My debit cards are clearly marked as such, my credit cards are not.)

Or perhaps they're just trying to be extra nice to a valued customer? ;)

12th Apr 2004, 02:05
Was on holiday in Denham, Western Australia, and the only ATM in town wouldn't accept any of my cards. Local barman knew I was a good "client" gave me money a couple of times on my CREDIT card. Just signed like a normal credit card transaction.

It was odd that I couldn't start a tab. I didn't argue.

12th Apr 2004, 13:08
the sneaky bastards added a desert to the bill. HTF did you get it out of the pub? Was it a small one with an oasis? :E :uhoh: :}


12th Apr 2004, 21:31

Yep, that sounds like a perfectly feasible explanation - having trained a number of the dozy b#ggers over the years I can confirm that their subsequent actions at the till bear no resemblance to their training.:D

12th Apr 2004, 22:17
I have a bank card that is both debit/credit combined (+ PIN number), with my photo on it. When it is swiped it is up to me to decide what account I want to use...

Paul Wilson
12th Apr 2004, 22:21
Agree with witchdoctor, after having worked in retail for a bit, it all comes out as a speil, you've just had 4 debit cards in a row, so you ask the fifth if he'd like any cashback, course it's a credit card then.

Till systems won't allow cashback on a credit card anyway, and newer systems don't even require the till operator to think - they swipe the card then the till either a.) starts printing reciept, or b.) prompts till jockey to ask about cashback.

This can easily be seen in my local Co-op, populated by the dimmest people:rolleyes: 4 times in the last month I've been in, 4 times I've asked for cashback when they asked, 4 times they've forgotten to take the money out of the till.:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

b.t.w. The amount charged for card handling is dependant on your size of business, and customer profile/fraud record. i.e John Lewis gets charged 1% on card handling, this is very close to the costs involved in banking and counting cash, and fees for cheques. Pubs are more likely to have low transaction figures, and be more suseptable to fraud (when your pissed does your signature look like it does on the card?) so higher fees.

12th Apr 2004, 22:52
Nope Ozzy, just had loads of dates and stuff (you know I can't spell!) :uhoh:

13th Apr 2004, 09:41
Worked for a dot comm during the boom where we used deal with all staff morale problems with a trip to the local and a company credit card behind the bar.
Aaaah, the good old days.

Aileron Roll
13th Apr 2004, 12:23
ahhhhhhhhhh very dangerous using credit card to buy booze, but is very to wke up and see you still have cash left in wallet

14th Apr 2004, 22:40

Not sure I agree with you on this one but if you would like to PM me with your credit card number and details will carry out a fact finding mission for you :ok: