Kroger Reverses Ban on Visa Credit Cards

Kroger Reverses Ban on Visa Credit Cards

October 31, 2019         Written By John H. Oldshue

Kroger has reversed the ban on Visa Cards and will now accept Visa at all locations.

Kroger first banned Visa cards in August 2018. The ban involved 21 Foods Co. locations in California, but was then expanded to 134 Smith’s Food & Drug Stores in April 2019.

The dispute originally stemmed from high interchange fees. An Foods Co. email from that time stated, “Visa’s rates and fees are among the highest of any credit card brand, and those fees were driving up prices for customers.” The company chose to stop accepting Visa cards as a way to keep product prices down.

The ban was specifically for Visa credit cards, not Visa debit cards or credit cards from other brands.

Kroger, Foods Co. and Smith’s have not said why the ban was reversed. Visa may have negotiated a lower interchange rate with them, or Kroger may have seen a decline in business after banning Visa credit cards.

This could be a step in a much larger rebranding strategy for Kroger. A leaked internal memo from the company indicates a big announcement coming November 6th. The memo says that “old approaches aren’t working,” and Kroger wants a brand that is “instantly identifiable and ownable.” The reimagined branding strategy is expected to arrive after an upcoming investor meeting in New York.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 31, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


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About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of LowCards.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for LowCards.com.
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