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Ticket counters not accepting cash?

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jis

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me_little_me

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"Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," states: "United States coins and currency [including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve Banks and national banks] are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues." This statute means that all U.S. money as identified above is a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor."

Sounds like this is saying that if I walk into a restaurant then go to pay at the counter and offer cash, if they refuse it, I am not obligated to offer any other form of payment and could not be prosecuted for non-payment as long as my offer remains.
It might be a different issue if I have to pay in advance because I have not incurred a debt until I have received something as the other party is not yet a "creditor". They could just refuse to sell it to me. So if I consume the product - or even just open it where the seller insists I must then pay for it because they cannot or will not take it back, then they must accept the cash or accept no further offer of any form of payment as I have offered a legal way to satisfy my debt to them.

I missed my calling. I should have been a sleazy lawyer.
 

me_little_me

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That line if thinking was "shot down" back in the 1980's when apartment complexes quit accepting cash due to theft risk - it was upheld in court.
Which court? If not the Supreme Court, then it was not necessarily "shot down".
 
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PVD

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The real meaning of legal tender is one of the most misunderstood concepts out there, and people always quote a bunch of stuff that doesn't mean what they think it does. The US Treasury website has a pretty good explanation, and they are likely to be more knowledgeable on the subject than most of the internet experts. Some local governments have passed laws requiring cash in some businesses, but obviously it wouldn't apply to Amtrak anyway.
 

PVD

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Not true, unless a local law prohibits it businesses are free to decide what to accept. What they can't do is not let people know ahead of time.
 

flitcraft

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No business is legally required to accept cash for goods or services under federal law, though some states and municipalities have passed laws requiring certain businesses to provide a non-credit card payment option. None of the state laws apply to interstate commerce, though, as anyone who has tried to buy a drink or snack on a plane in the last decade or so can confirm. No credit card, no snack box.

Even the language that would appear to allow payment of taxes in coinage is not as iron-clad as a literal reading might presume. It's true, the IRS will allow you to use cash to pay your taxes, but they are free to set the terms of that--which includes having to register specially to do so, having to pay before the tax deadline to allow for processing of the cash, being limited to paying a maximum of $1000 a day, and being charged a daily processing fee for each cash payment.

People are free to believe anything they like about law--but it doesn't make their beliefs an accurate reflection of the law. This reminds me of a case in Washington state where someone claimed that his sentence after a criminal conviction was illegal because the sentencing judge's robes were not silk, as stated in the state constitution, but polyester. Turned out that court interpretations' of legal language is a lot more sensible than most non-lawyers give it credit for. He served his 'illegal' sentence in the end.
 

Dutchrailnut

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This statute means that all U.S. money as identified above is a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor." correct and if a merchant is not delivering a product/item there is no debt yet.
 
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I was on one of the Silvers to Florida a few years ago in a sleeper, and my dining table companion was a lady from coach who had just been to Atlantic City.

She had a jar of quarters with her, and when her bill came for the meal, she paid it with a bunch of quarters from the jar.
 

PVD

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Many businesses will, some won't. Quarters aren't too bad, they make a $10 roll, and are often used in making change. It is not uncommon to see businesses not accept large quantities of coin or large denomination bills. Most are pretty good at putting up notices. Think of a restaurant, if they didn't have a notice up, what exactly could they say to someone who goes to pay the check and only has cash.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Actually, many places were begging for coins in 2020 due to the coin shortage. Not sure if they still are. I took about $25 worth of coins to one of the convenience stores I frequent and cashed it in for paper money. They were happy to get the coins. I was even offered a free sandwich, but since it wasn't lunch time yet, I asked if I could get a small milkshake and she said yes. :)
 

Dakota 400

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Think of a restaurant, if they didn't have a notice up, what exactly could they say to someone who goes to pay the check and only has cash
There is a local high end steakhouse in my community that only accepts cash or a check. No credit cards; not sure about debit cards. They have a notice on their web site about this procedure; not sure about whether there is one in the restaurant or not. It's been a very long time since I patronized them.
 

Qapla

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In our area many convenience stores were asking for coins when the pandemic first started ... since then, many have gone to a "card preferred" or "card only" policy.

Some of the places that used to be "cash only" (we did have a couple of them) have since either closed of changed to the card - especially since many patrons do not want to handle cash any more than the businesses do since C-19 started.
 

railiner

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For a small business to go cashless, it has the benefit of reducing embezzlement by cashier's.
OTOH, it makes it hard for a 'cash business' to cheat on sales taxes...
 

me_little_me

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There is a local high end steakhouse in my community that only accepts cash or a check. No credit cards; not sure about debit cards. They have a notice on their web site about this procedure; not sure about whether there is one in the restaurant or not. It's been a very long time since I patronized them.
We have a lot of them. Small businesses get ripped off big time by the high vigorish the banks take for using credit cards and where I live, there are LOTS of small, local restaurants and I don't patronize chains or their minions. So if they don't take CC or charge extra for CC, I pay in cash.
 

PaTrainFan

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If given a choice most businesses would probably prefer not to take credit cards, given the interchange fees they have to pay to the card issuers. But given that the vast majority of consumers want to pay by credit card it forces businesses to pay for the customers' convenience. They would prefer debit over credit, as debit interchange fees are much lower. And the card issuer makes nothing on me because I never carry a balance, thus no interest to them.
 

crescent-zephyr

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If you use square or stripe the fees are super low - just build it into your prices and stop crying. I’m sure small businesses would prefer not to pay the electric each month as well but it costs money to have a business. Haha.
 
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