Dubuque bars turning down plastic - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque bars turning down plastic

By Lauren Squires

DUBUQUE (KWWL) - For years, many gas stations have offered discounts for truck drivers who buy diesel with cash instead of credit. That's because gas stations pay a fee for credit card purchases. Now -- other stores may be following gas stations' lead.

More bars and restaurants are taking cash-only.

Phil Love has owned The Lounge in Dubuque for 30 years. People come for his signature drink.

"Swamp waters would be one of the top ones," said Love.

But to get the green drink, you better have some green cash. Love's bar doesn't take credit cards because it costs him money to run your plastic.

"If they just come in for a glass of beer it's probably gonna cost just as much as what the profit for the beer," said Love.

His cash only bar hasn't had a problem. He says nearby ATM's help out.

Up the street, Walnut owner Craig Weiner agrees and says it's just too expensive to use a credit card machine.

"Some of them I've found there anywhere from 13 to 19 cents per transaction and then it just gets, it gets very expensive," said Weiner.

While many smaller businesses and bars only take cash. Larger businesses and bars take your plastic, because they have a larger volume of business.

"Unless you do a pretty good volume on credit cards, it's gonna cost yah cause you have to rent the machine, you gotta have a phone line coming in , you gotta pay so much to the credit card company," said Love.

And while most locals know which bars don't take your plastic, Wiener says he might chance his mind.

"I'm still debating on it but we'll see what happens," said Weiner.

In the meantime all you'll see at these two bars is green.

With the economic struggles -- fewer americans are paying with plastic. Analysts predict consumer credit to drop.

But more americans are also struggling to pay off credit cards. The rate of credit card defaults rose 31% from last year.

Online reporter: Lauren Squires

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