Martin Lewis has warned shoppers that stores are well within their rights to refuse cash and only accept card as payment method.
On the Martin Lewis Money Show, one viewer asked, “If cash is legal tender, are businesses breaking rules by only accepting cards?”
Martin, who recently shared a stern warning to anyone with a PayPal account, simply replied, “No, they are not breaking any rules.
“You are allowed to take card only as long as it’s not discriminatory for race or disability or something.”
He also explained what legal tender means, saying it has a “strict definition”.
He added: “It means if you have a court awarded debt against you, if someone tries to settle and they’re paying in legal tender you cannot refuse it.”
Martin went on to point out that in some parts of the UK, the only legal tender is coins, and not even cash.
He said, “In Scotland, no notes – neither Bank of Scotland nor Bank of England, are legal tender.”
But there’s very good news for people who rely on cash, and are finding it harder to get hold of it with bank branches closing and ATMs being removed – as cash-back in the supermarkets is about to become free, as of next year.
He said, “The Government has said that once we leave the EU in January it will change the rules so if you want to get cash out from a supermarket you don’t have to buy anything.
“And with the closures of ATMs and bank branches that will be useful.”
The money-saving guru also voiced his opinion on whether he believes the country should be changed to a cashless society.
“I know many people are saying ‘why don’t we just switch to a cashless society?’ – I don’t want that, because there are many vulnerable people who need cash,” he said.