Rachel Discovers Happiness

my life and road to happiness

A Sincere Letter to Cash-Only Businesses

Dear Businesses that Don’t Accept Credit/Debit Cards (yup, I’m talking to you Little Sandwich Place on Union St. in San Francisco),

I want to begin this heart felt letter by saying that, although I understand your side of things, I still feel as though you really suck.

Okay, never mind, I take that back, I don’t understand your side of things. What century do you think you’re in? This isn’t the 18- or 19- hundreds anymore! It is the 21st century!!

I get that having a credit card swiper thing in your place of work means that you have to pay a little bit more when somebody chooses to use that form of payment, but can’t you just raise your prices by a tiny bit? Like, an extra quarter per sandwich? Instead, as your customer, when I can’t pay because I only have cards with me, I have to walk two blocks in order to find an ATM which then, in turn, charges me $2.50 to withdraw my $40. That charge is a 20% increase in the price of my purchase!

As somebody who is trying to follow her 2012 resolutions, I have started using my debit card a lot more because it is easier to track expenses that way. I don’t have to take receipts (which are not environmentally friendly in the first place) because my bank records all my transactions for me.* I don’t have to worry about change – paper or metal. I’m not concerned about my $20 bills blowing away or my change spilling everywhere as I’m crossing the street causing me to have to stop in the middle of the road, block traffic, risk my life, and pick up my measly 63¢. Or what to do with the pennies that are piling up in my car’s center console because a) I don’t have enough space in my wallet to carry all of them b) I can’t use them anywhere – including gumball machines like I could when I was little and c) it bothers me that the penny is bigger than the dime even though it is worth less. But I digress.

Don’t you see how big of an inconvenience this is to all of us? Now, I promise you, the 21st century isn’t as scary as we thought it was going to be a little over 12 years ago. Remember Y2K? When we all thought computers wouldn’t know how to handle the year code (’00 vs. ’99)? Or when we thought, for sure, there was going to be some huge, astronomical change when the clock hit midnight (even though we are on the West Coast of the United States and just about everybody else on earth had already made it safely into the 2000’s), but then it didn’t?

I promise, when you choose to join the rest of us in the world of technology and those small, rectangular, plastic things we all call credit cards, the world will not collapse around you. Yes, the world as you know it will be no more, but I promise, it will be better. It will be a place that doesn’t force people, such as myself, to spend a whole bunch of extra money on things such as sandwiches. The rest of us, who are already in the second decade of the new millenium, will gladly welcome you with open arms (and wallets).

I sincerely hope you take this letter to heart.



*Please spare me the lecture on how I shouldn’t count on my bank as a means of tracking my finances. I’ve heard it all before. It’s just so easy that way! And i’m not spending/making enough money for there to be any big discrepancy right now. I promise I will start to keep closer tabs on my ATM/credit card purchases in the future.

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4 thoughts on “A Sincere Letter to Cash-Only Businesses

  1. I do so agree with you! If it was up to me I wouldn’t use any physical money anymore. It just annoys me to have to carry it around all the time. In Germany we have quite valuable coins like 2€ and the smallest note is 5€. So you have a lot of change and I hate it. I collect it at home / my car / my pockets and every time I am near the bank I walk in and deposit all the coins on my account. We have special machines that do that. Might be a coincident, though 😉

    • Haha so glad you agree! I know that every time I’ve gone to Europe I end up with so many coins and I have no idea what to do with them all when I come back to the States! It’s just like in the United States – I used to be able to at least get a gum-ball or something with a penny, but now even that is impossible. Why do I need all this change?! The only thing I can say is good about the change is that, once you have been collecting coins for a while (in a jar, your car, pockets, etc.) it is fun to go to the bank and see how much you’ve actually accumulated. It’s the simple things in life 🙂

  2. Canadian Performer's Money on said:

    In Vancouver tons of little restaurants have “cash only” posted on their front doors.

    I suspect it is so they can take in cash off the books and pay taxes on about half of what the business is really making.

    • Thank you for your input! I definitely don’t understand all the aspects of running a business so I don’t really know the ins and outs of the “cash only” sign. But it is interesting that businesses might be taking money off the books and paying less on taxes… I’ve never heard that aspect before.

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