Kroger Co. will no longer accept Visa credit cards as a method of payment at Smith’s Food & Drug stores starting April 3.
Officials at Kroger stores say Visa has some of the highest fees, which prompted the decision.
“Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time,” Mike Schlotman, Kroger’s executive vice president and CFO, said in a press release. “At Smith’s, Visa’s credit card fees are higher than any other credit card brand that we accept. Visa’s excessive fees and unfairness cannot continue to go unchecked.”
The stores will continue to accept Visa debit cards.
Salt Lake Community College student Jason Tolbert regularly shops at Smith’s and found the news alarming.
“I’m worried that they will slowly start moving away from other major credit [card] companies,” he says. The change, he says, could affect his choice to shop at the store, especially if its avocado offering – his main reason for frequenting Smith’s – changes, too.
The move, according to the press release, would allow the stores to keep down prices. If it were to continue to accept Visa credit cards, customers would likely see an increase in prices.
“Grocery is a competitive business, and our ability to keep prices low for our customers depends on controlling costs,” Kenny Kimball, President of Smith’s Food & Drug Centers, said in the release.
Kroger’s Foods Co. Supermarket in California stopped accepting Visa credit cards in August 2018.
The Kroger Co. is an American company founded in Ohio. Smith’s is the second chain of Kroger stores to cut ties with the credit card company.
After the announcement, Kimball noted that Smith’s offered several deals at its Utah locations, including double rewards points on fuel purchases and other promotions. Smith’s has 55 locations throughout Utah with more than 20,000 employees.