Consumerwatch: Purchasing lottery tickets
Published Monday, August 13, 2012 10:35AM CST
Last Updated Monday, August 13, 2012 12:05PM CST
Each year, thousands of Canadians buy lottery tickets. Despite the odds not being in their favour, many fork out the funds for the shot at big bucks or luxurious prizes.
How Canadians pay for those lottery tickets, though, could end up costing them much more in the long run.
Brian McCulloch purchased a $200 lottery subscription on his Bank of Montreal Mastercard and said he was charged daily interest instead of his usual rate.
“To me, it seemed like a cash grab by the credit card companies,” said McCulloch.
McCulloch also purchased a $200 home lottery ticket from the Health Sciences Centre Foundation on his credit card. Again, daily interest showed up on his bill.
“I didn’t agree. They were charging a fee for a person buying a ticket for a charity,” he said.
Representatives from the Bank of Montreal said all lottery purchases put on credit cards are treated as cash advances, meaning cardholders are charged a fee and daily interest.
The bank said they do make exceptions for charities – but only if they’re made aware of it.
The HSC Foundation representatives said the foundation has been a registered charity since 2008.
Representatives said they would follow up with BMO Mastercard to remind them they are registered under a charitable industry code with credit car processing companies.
McCulloch said after contacting his bank he had all the charges refunded. He said the bank’s policy won’t stop him from buying the home lottery tickets or his yearly lottery subscription, but he won’t be using his credit card in the future.
For more information on credit card fee structures, consult the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's credit card comparison table.