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Why Cabbies Don't Want to Take Credit Cards

Why Cabbies Prefer Cash Payments

I've been in many cabs in which the driver wouldn't let me get in until he was sure that I had cash. Many times you'll hear the excuse that their credit card-processing machine isn't working and cabbies might persistently push you to go to an ATM and pay them with cash.

Although you may think you have a right as a customer to pay with the most convenient form of payment, know that the reason why taxi drivers don't want to charge your card is because many cab companies charge them a fee for using the machines. A few months ago, hundreds of cabbies protested at the San Francisco City Hall saying that the five percent fee for processing the credit cards is too high. Factor in high gas prices and low incomes, and it makes a tough job even harder.

Every time I know I'm going to cab it, I always make sure to have some cash on me and I try to make it as convenient as I can for both the cabdriver and me. After all, if the cabbie gets upset over a credit-card payment, not only does it cause me unnecessary stress, but it can also disrupt my plans if he decides not to take me to my destination.

I know everyone probably has their own opinion on this, so I'm wondering if you think it's your right to pay with a credit card or if you think every passenger should make an effort to carry cash?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Impetusin Impetusin 5 years
I travel for business and I have to use my credit card. If you pay cash, they won't give you a receipt. They'll give you a business card and just tell you to fill in the blanks. Are you wondering if that works? The answer is no; that doesn't work. Most corporate expense offices won't take a business card with your handwriting in all fields as a receipt. Cabbies pretty much do this everywhere. So if you do pay cash, make them fill it out. Most won't. Because of this, I only take cabs that take credit cards. If they don't want to put out the effort to give me a proper receipt, then I won't take the chance that my 45 dollar cab ride doesn't get reimbursed.
johngee johngee 5 years
don't be one 1%, pay them with cash, and get a receipt if you need one.
sksmith sksmith 5 years
While it may be true that some cabbies don't want to pay the high credit card fees for small transactions (true !), let's be honest. The REAL reason is that they don't want to pay income taxes to the IRS. If it's cash, it's not traceable ! ! ! !
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 5 years
I was just in San Francisco and while I did not experience a real problem with using my card to pay for cabs, the cabbies were reluctant to let me, much preferring cash. My host informed me of the fee they have to pay and insisted I tip in cash every time I took a cab. She was tipping $5 for every ride, even when they were only $10. I'm sorry, but 50% is ridiculous to me, especially when none of them seemed grateful.
ameerah26 ameerah26 5 years
I do in fact have an opinion on this. I have actually reported cabbies who refused to take my credit card. They are legally bound to do so. It is a valid form of payment. I've had cabbies lie and tell me there is a "minimum" that I have to hit (usually its something crazy like $10 or $15). I say if you do not want to accept a particular type of payment- get a new gig. I am a paying customer and should be able to choose whatever VALID form of payment I like.
bengalspice bengalspice 5 years
IMO picky cabbies in NYC are just losing business by telling ppl that they won't drive them if they don't pay with cash. It's illegal to not accept cards.
shannrose shannrose 5 years
I know that is a huge problem in San Francisco; it is not so much in New York, where taking credit cards is a right. Cabbies may be frustrated about people paying with a card for very short rides, but overall, cab drivers are actually happy about the installation of credit card machines, according to NYT.
melitami melitami 5 years
In Philadelphia, it's illegal now for cabbies to not accept credit cards, they will be fined heavily if they don't. I use cash usually (though I rarely take cabs). However, sometimes you have to use a credit card - my husband has a corporate card and when on business trips that's what he has to use. If he doesn't, we end up eating the cost of the cab ride.
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