CHOICE membership

Credit cards vs Debit cards


Most debit cards do not attach to accounts with overdraft arrangements. But a debit card attached to an account with overdraft arrangements is essentially the same as a credit card. You pay interest on the overdraft amount from use, but usually do not have any interest free days like a credit card. In practice there are some things one still cannot universally do with a debit card that one can with a credit card - hiring a car comes to mind. You often cannot book it with a debit card, only a credit card, although at the end you can pay with either.


Hi I recently bought a $100 item at Aldi on their special buys, when I checked my bill there was a 52cents surcharge for using the tap and Go system.
When I rang the Aldi customer helpline, they told me that if you run your credit or debit card through the machine an read the magnetic strip there is no charge and the surcharge only applies if you use the tap and go facility.
I don’t know of any other supermarket store that charges this surcharge as far as I know Aldi is the only one with two options on their till machines.
In my opinion this should be pointed out to the customer at the point of sale at the till.


Oh dear, i didnt know that!! I always use tap and go (via my apple watch) because its easier than fiddling with wallets, and cards, shopping bags and the stuff you are trying to clear from the bench at the end, when the next customer is standing there tapping their foot because you are too slow. A trap for the unwary indeed. I’ll go check my last receipt if I still have it.

I used the card last time, but the time before it was my Apple Watch and I can confirm that they do this. They treat it as if it were a credit card (mine is a debit card, not an excuse IMO) and I wont be using cards at all when I shop there in future. I’ll take the time I need to get the cash out of my wallet, and hang the consequences for next in line.

Not good enough, Aldi. How much extra money must they be making overall! Here’s a receipt copy… and altho it says GST A and B (WTF is that???) the price up top is already inclusive of GST. I think its a rort.


It looks like the GST A is for product bought without GST and GST is products bought with GST. Why they separate them is anyone’s guess.

While the amount may not seem significant, over a year it could mount up to a small sum of money.


Dry reading from the ATO. Go to #9 and then the examples.


Does not explain why places like Aldi treat debit cards as if they are credit cards


It does if you read through older posts in this thread. If the card is waved (or inserted and Credit is selected) it is cleared through the credit system. If it is inserted in the machine and CHQ/SAV is selected it is cleared through the interbank EFTPOS network.

Depending on which system clears it the costs vary. If you wave it, it is considered a credit transaction regardless of where, even when it is a debit card.


I’ve only struck this at Aldi… oh well, cash only for me if I have to go the Aldi (rare) and back to shopping at Coles.


There are some businesses we have struck that also have credit car surcharges of a few percentages for credit card use…and some of the same businesses have none for cash or debit cards. This is particularly the case with restaurants and we often carry enough cash to cover our meal just in case we find out on payment of a surcharge.

Most of these businesses also make it clear with signage of the surcharge and cards they accept (some won’t accept Amex).


There’s another reason. Correct treatment is to add up the supplies and then apply GST at the end (rather than to apply GST to each supply and then add up the taxed supplies). If tax is applied at different rates (as arises in other scenarios) then that generalises to adding up the supplies for each individual tax class and then to apply the tax to the sum in that class and finally to add up the taxed amounts.


It has been my understanding that the “Tap and Go” and the “Insert Card” systems are operated by different financial organisations. And the reason you do not see the charge at either Woolies or Coles is that they absorb the charge.


This is not a new thing, for as long as I’ve shopped at Aldi they have always had a fee for credit card payments. They always used to ask you to accept that during the transaction by pushing ok on the eftpos machine. It’s used to be a very small percentage I think but they might have changed it now we have tap and go. Personally I don’t like the whole tap and go thing, I would rather not have it.


I dont much like it for cards (but sometimes its convenient) but I love it for my watch. Why dont you like it?


I don’t like the fact that if someone gets hold of your card, they can spend easily on it as long as they keep it under $100, because I’ve seen people just ask the sales assistant to just do the transaction in multiple amounts so they can tap. I think they should have kept it with a pin. If you can’t remember a pin maybe they shouldn’t have a credit card. It’s irresponsible. It’s a bit different with the watch you can’t set that up so you have to put a pin in when you put it on. I have an Apple Watch but I don’t use it for payments.
But going back to the tap thing. To make a return on your tap card, you have to put your pin in and sign for it. It’s kind of ridiculous that you have to use more identification to put money on than spend it.


I always use Chip and PIN or cash at Aldi - and when I can I will inform unsuspecting buyers never to tap. They do indicate the fee in various places now but only after customers complained… even now it’s not very prominent. The fee is charged even if it’s a debit card.I have to read into it more, but my understanding is that tap and go goes through a different system than cheaper EFTPOS so even if you are using a debit card, it will be either Visa and MasterCard and will go through their more expensive systems.


Here is a salient thread that is relevant to this one.


I never use the tap and buy. Almost all purchases carry a charge.


cause it incurs charges


I’ve decided I dont care anymore about the charges. Using my Apple Watch is too convenient and secure. I’ll keep doing it and wear the costs.


Hi I have a update to my next shop at Aldi.
This time I bought goods to the value of $60 so when I got to the till I swiped my card so not to incur the tap and go fee, low and behold the signal was picked up by the tap ang go system and when I got the receipt the tap and go charge fee was included. I told the check out person I would not pay the charge. So he credited my money back on my debit card and tried again, same result again when I pushed my card backwards through the slot. In the end they refunded the charge to me in cash. I apologise to the people who were waiting. But I do not agree in paying for something I do not want.