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Smith’s Food & Drug Stores Reverses Decision To Ban Visa Credit Cards

Update: Kroger Co. Reverses Decision To Ban Visa Credit Cards

Grocery store chain The Kroger Co. announced on Oct. 30, 2019 that it has reversed its ban on customers using Visa credit cards.

“As of (Oct. 30), Kroger now accepts Visa cards at all our family of stores, including Smith’s and Foods Co.,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement.

In August 2018, the company started banning the use of Visa credit cards in California; in April 2019 the company expanded the ban to include 142 Smith’s grocery stores and 108 fuel centers across seven states, including New Mexico.

During the ban, Visa debit cards were still accepted, as were other types of non-Visa credit cards. Company officials had said that it started the Visa ban to save money on processing fees and keep grocery prices low.

Company officials did not give a reason why the ban was lifted.

This decision means Nusenda member-owners will once again be able to earn rewards or cash back at any Smith’s store or fuel center by using their Nusenda Visa rewards or cash rewards credit cards.

Smith's Stores to Stop Accepting Visa Credit Cards

Last week, grocery store chain The Kroger Co. announced all of its Smith’s Food & Drug locations will stop accepting all Visa® credit cards as a form of payment beginning April 3, 2019. The policy change affects 142 supermarkets and 108 gas centers in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, and Arizona. There are 23 Smith’s locations in New Mexico.

The decision was made by The Kroger Co. and impacts anyone shopping at Smith’s with a Visa credit card, not just Nusenda Credit Union Visa credit cardholders. Other forms of payment, including Visa debit cards, are still being accepted at Smith’s locations, as well as cards from SNAP and WIC programs, and health savings account cards.

This decision will impact Nusenda member-owners because it will prevent them from using Nusenda’s Visa credit card to earn rewards or cash back at any Smith’s stores or gas stations. Nusenda member-owners who use their Visa debit card to shop at Smith’s will still be able to earn Community Rewards® if they select the signature option when checking out.

While signature options differ based on the merchant, the easiest way to choose the signature option is to ask the merchant how to sign for a transaction rather than using a PIN. Nusenda Credit Union encourages member-owners to choose the signature option on debit card purchases because:

  • Purchases will be protected by Visa’s Zero Liability Policy.
  • They will benefit financially from the Community Rewards program, and the community of their choice benefits from matching financial support from their credit union.
  • Purchases will be identified, in detail, on their statements and online by the name of the merchant, the city, and the state.

For questions regarding The Kroger Co. decision, contact the corporation directly at 866-221-4141 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Eastern Time. For questions specific to Nusenda Credit Union Visa credit and debit cards, credit card rewards programs, or Nusenda’s Community Rewards program, please call 505-889-7755 (800-347-2838 outside the Albuquerque area) Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain Time, or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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