Apparently I’m not alone in discovering that some credit cards companies will charge a fee for some charity lotteries. A BBC radio 4 programme called Money Box (which I hadn’t heard) also discovered this.
They have done a bit more research and here are details of which cards do charge:
“MBNA charges the most. That’s 3% or £3, whichever is
higher. Egg charges 2% with the minimum of £2.50. Royal Bank of Scotland doesn’t levy a charge, but does treat it as cash so interest starts at once and at a higher rate. Barclaycard told us it doesn’t treat online gambling as cash and levies no extra charges and finally American Express and Citibank both said they don’t allow their cards to be used for online gambling at all.”
You can see the full transcript of the radio programme on the BBC web site.
Apparently the reason they charge is that they have identified how much credit cards are being used for online gambling and have seen this as an additional revenue stream. The fact that neither the credit card company or playmonday made this obvious is very worrying. You can get charged up to £3 on the minimum £5 withdrawal, which is a massive 60% fee.
The BBC contacted playmonday and received the same answer as me. That they were aware and had done nothing. As a result they have updated their frequently asked questions, but this was not done before my post, and they still don’t warn you when actually transferring money.
Its even harder on customers of these credit cards to have known about this charge because it appears that they have only started charging since February. So it’s not your original terms and conditions that you need to read, but one of these fliers you get to tell you that they’ve been updated and then list all the rules (often using tiny writing in a small booklet).
As I mentioned in my earlier post “MBNA Mastercard Credit Card – Charges for Lottery“, I have already cancelled my MBNA Mastercard as a result of this.
The annoying thing is that I had two credit cards, my other is a Barclaycard. If I’d used my Barclaycard then I would not have incurred any additional charges, and perhaps been blissfully unaware of this hidden charge. The irony is that it was a charity credit card that charged for using the charities lottery.