Why You Must Pay With VISA For Gym Memberships!
Caveat: What I am about to say may be out of date / inaccurate – so ask your own bank and check.
I used to work for a Bank and a Credit Union and will share something with you I learned the hard way. It is a facet of the VISA scheme that is (was?) referred to as ‘chargebacks’.
Around 2006, I paid a year in advance (Debit Card) for a gym membership – with the gym promptly going bust the next month. I lost my money. Several of my Credit Union colleagues were aghast I didn’t know about VISA chargebacks. They all used their VISA Cards to pay.
Reason being, in the case of deliverables in the FUTURE - if/as/when the merchant goes belly up, you can lodge a claim with VISA and get a refund. In the gym scenario, my colleagues received pro rata refunds on the unused weeks of their membership year!
A few years ago, I booked a holiday to the UK. I took out a loan and went through the somewhat unorthodox procedure of having the loan proceeds paid to my VISA account, thereby allowing me to pay for the holiday (note – a FUTURE DELIVERABLE) on VISA. The Travel Agent charged me an extra 1% to pay by VISA but I wanted the security of chargebacks when the airline/hotels etc went bust :)
A few months ago, we had a new kitchen installed. They wanted half as a deposit and by a bank transfer. I refused and paid by VISA instead. When the Kitchen installer asked if that was to ‘bump up my fly-buys’ (unquote) I nodded quietly, figuring the gesture far more tactful than saying ‘actually, when you go bust before completing the work….. ***I*** won’t loose ANYTHING….’.