If you’ve become accustomed to getting cash back when you swipe your debit card at a Kroger grocery store, you might want to think twice the next time you check out.
The chain has instituted a fee — ranging from 50 cents to $3.50 — for the privilege of accessing money from your checking account at the register. Previously, getting cash back did not come with a charge.
Kroger has said in a since-deleted tweet that Kroger Plus
Many of the store’s loyal customers are not happy with the change to the cash back policy.
— Dave N (@CLEdavidn) July 23, 2019
— Kodii (@ItsKodii) August 1, 2019
In response to complaints, Kroger has tweeted about the new policy:
“Customers who receive cash back from debit card transactions could be charged a Cashback Charge (please refer to the store if you have any questions on the fee amount). Our cashback program is designed to save customers money vs. ATM fees, and to give them a safer and more convenient way to get the cash they need. It also allows customers to get up to $300 cashback; a convenience you can’t get at any of our competitors! We will share your input and with the appropriate department, so they are made aware of your concerns.”
While that is a nice spin, it doesn’t make sense to access your money this way any more than it does to pay a fee at an out-of-network ATM.
Kroger says that it is simply passing fees they incur on to customers.
We are sorry to hear about your feelings about the cashback fee! We have a fee due to banks & other retailers raising ATM fees & limiting the amount of cashback. We want to offer our customers a convenient, low cost, way to get their money. We hope you understand!
— Kroger (@kroger) July 29, 2019
Several people on our Facebook page have reported that the fee was waived when they presented their Kroger Plus Card, but the latest response on Twitter from Kroger seems to contradict that:
We are so sorry to hear about your confusion on the debit card cash back fee. There was a miscommunication and you cannot have the fee waived by scanning your plus card. We are so sorry for any confusion caused. Have a great week!
— Kroger (@kroger) August 5, 2019
It’s possible that the new policy is being implemented inconsistently from store to store.
Team Clark reached out to Kroger to see if we could get further clarification on the decision to implement the fee and if it can be waived, but has not heard back as of this writing.