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Debit cards by law are not required pay a minimum

Businesses across American Samoa have been put on notice by the Attorney General citing there are no minimum purchase requirements allowed for debit cards.

This is in line with the Federal Reserve Board regulatory debit card interchange fees whereas the current limit is at $10 or less. These minimums requirements do not, however, apply to debit cards, only credit cards.

Debit cards by law cannot be asked to pay a minimum purchase in order for the consumers to use their debit cards.

This was confirmed in an exclusive interview with the Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau, Counsel Lynne Blankenbeker.

"There is no minimum purchase requirement for using a TBAS debit card. For example, a debit card can be used to make a $5 purchase.

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The Director of Consumer Protection and her team of investigators made this a priority and visited stores that were reported to have minimum purchase requirements for credit and debit cards, prompting an investigation.

Their Office utilized this opportunity to inform businesses of the credit and debit card minimum purchase rules.

All businesses must take notice that if they were previously applying a minimum purchase requirement for debit cards they must stop this practice immediately.

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As Counsel Lynne explained, any purchase cannot exceed a $10.00 minimum for credit card purchases.

Thus, a $20 minimum purchase for a credit card is unlawful. Asked if there is a penalty for a shop that may continue this practice, Counsel Lynne said:

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Lynne also confirmed that in order for a shop to require a minimum purchase, the owner must display clearly in the shop or outside the main entrance.

Any questions or consumer complaints should be directed to the Director of Consumer Protection at or phone no. 684-633-4163.

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