Do You Carry Cash?

A few weeks ago, I went to a RSL while I was waiting for a mate. I ordered a beer for $4 and went to pay by card. The bartender looked at me weird and said "You're not paying by card". I asked if there was a minimum and he said "For something this small, you're not paying card". The RSL accepted EFTPOS, Mastercard and VISA since their were signs and stickers on the registers. Luckily, I had a few churchies in my pocket to pay for it.

I've rarely carried cash since I mainly pay for everything by card. I understand if a small mum and dad shop or small restaurant doesn't accept card but for an RSL, I'd except that they'd be happy to take card for any purchase.

So the question is for the ozbargainers: Do you carry cash?

Poll Options

  • 366
    Always. e.g. Cash 24x7
  • 139
    Sometimes. e.g. Take cash out occasionally
  • 359
    Rarely. e.g. Someone gave you cash for a meal because you were paying by card
  • 141
    Never. e.g. Always pay by card


  • +54 votes

    Always, you never know when you'll need to pay a drug dealer.


    I do, just in case I can't use the card or the phone. Carrying enough for a taxi ride to home + bit more would be what I'd carry around though.


      That's somewhat reasonable and responsible, although I say 'somewhat' due to the expectations that I have for taxis to provide an eftpos transaction since it can be expensive depending on where you go and for taxation purposes of work related, although I haven't tried Uber so not sure if cash is the expectation nowadays.


        Eh, as I said, I carry them around just in case I can't use the card or the phone. That can be if I lose my card or the phone running out of battery, for example, as well.

        I do agree that it might seem slightly paranoid, I think it became a habitual thing after living abroad for so long.

  • +2 votes

    I always try to have cash on me at all times, maybe it's because I'm Gen X but any small purchases are done by cash

  • +24 votes

    What a deck. I pay for everything by card if I can. That said I usually go to places that charge more than $4 for a beer :P

    • +59 votes

      What a deck.


      "You're not paying by card"

      "For something this small, you're not paying card"

      Doesn't this strike people as rude? If there was a minimum for EFTPOS the bartender should've said so. "You're not paying by card" sounds like a command.

      I would've said,

      "Thank you very much!"

      And promptly walked away with the beer.

  • +5 votes

    I always have a little cash in my wallet. Once I get down to $5 I get out $80, but I go through it very very slowly. Mostly just drinks and snacks.


      Ha, same, I always get out $80 because that way I've only got 20s. I used to work in retail and it pained me when people would run to the atm and take out $50 for a, let's say, $12 purchase. I never understood why they wouldn't just take out $40 or $60.

  • +2 votes

    Always… my wallet has never been empty. I am always afraid of technology failure.

  • +11 votes

    I don't carry it with me but if going out somewhere with friends I will usually take some cash out beforehand to pay for drinks. I don't even own a wallet, just a rubber band with 5 cards.

  • +1 vote

    I always try to carry cash on me in case the card terminal isn't working/they don't accept cards

  • +1 vote

    I keep a $20 in my aluma wallet with my card

  • +7 votes

    I always carry a 20cent coin in case I have to make an emergency call from a payphone.

  • +11 votes

    Always try to pay by card but carry at least $50 in cash, preferably $100.

    Some restaurants, believe it or not, are still cash only. Mostly asian joints, I find.

  • +6 votes

    Never. I don't even have a wallet anymore. I have a couple of cards with my phone. And I don't even use them unless I'm planning to. I can't actually remember the last time I used cash anywhere. Would have been years ago. I was at the supermarket on the weekend and the much younger person in front of me was paying cash and I was actually surprised, and also a bit annoyed, as the cashier hardly ever deals in cash so they had to bust open those old fashioned papered bank coin rolls to give them the damn change and it took so long. I usually only see oldies (even older than my 47) using cash.

    And stuff the people that don't take cash for small amounts like above. A lot of them I remember in the old days you'd give a large note and they'd then complain about "ooh I don't have enough change for that"

    • +3 votes

      Agreed, I use tap n go on my phone to pay for everything. If a place doesnt except card i waddle away.
      I have a wallet with my license and a $1 coin in it :P

      • -2 votes

        Yeah same. If I'm at a Luddite shop and they won't take a card under $5, I'll just leave. Loose loose…

        • +3 votes

          On that topic, Hate when they pass on their eftpos fees, Like no thank you :P. Ive noticed when you go into a shop and ask if they have fees when clearly theyve got signs up, they will always say not for you, what would you like. ;) works 100% of the time.
          *Im a stingy bastard

        • -7 votes

          Maybe there was an excuse LAST CENTURY when cash was the rule, cards the exception. But ffs, two decades into the 21st, the can just XXXX off and go back to their 20th century holes.

          Jeez, the physical representation of Money is such a stupid anachronism it is embarrassing. Even last century it was stupid as xxxx. I mean the physical value of a 1c piece exceeded its worth back in the xxxxing 80s.


    I always some change in my wallet, but my wallet usually don't have more than $50 in it, unless I know I need the cash, like going to an Asian restaurant or something. I take out what I need + $20.

  • +14 votes

    Sounds like the bartender was cocky and too emotionally invested in an illogical view of business.

    The way you fix it in the future is by taking a sip. Nigh on guarantee'd they won't want the beer back. Don't think they can legally decline payment via card if they openly advertise it.

    • +6 votes

      Perhaps he wants to deal out change so that patrons are more likely to squander it in the pokies.

      "Clubs" seem like morally ambiguous community casinos.

  • +3 votes

    I was at my local RSL and a guy tried to pay by card, he was told where the ATM was, the RSL does not accept EFTPOS at the bar, but it does in the restaurant. I had never realised before. Personally, i have a few lunch places that don't take card so I do carry cash.

  • +2 votes

    I usually use Apple Pay or my card, but once I was in the middle of nowhere between Adelaide and Melbourne, the servo's card terminal wasn't working and the only option was cash. From the moment I always keep $100 in my wallet for such emergencies.


      Sure if in the unusual circumstance that I would plan to be in the middle of Buxxfuxx, Nowhere that may be out of connectivity with the rest of the world, I'd arrange cash. But I wouldn't carry money randomly on the offchance I might randomly assigned in the middle of nowhere.

  • +7 votes

    Germs, damaged and torn notes, calculating what's needed, wrong currency coins, fitting change back into wallet, I can't stand it.

    Though it's true a lot of places don't accept card or have a minimum purchase.

    • +2 votes

      I would say you're being germophobic, but after having read a study that found something like 5% of all coins have been inside someones rectum at one point or another, I think thats fair enough.

      • +5 votes

        Only 5%?
        Where the hell do the other 95% get stored without that pesky jingling?!

      • -1 vote

        I admit, I am germophobic. But I'm 47 and I've been sick once in the last decade, and that was tonsilitis which I seen to have some genetic pre-desposition to. If I touch a communal surface, I'll wash my hands before I'll go near my body. Likewise if I'm forced to shake someone's hand. Touching communal currency is about appealing as using some stranger's rectum for a mobile phone charger.

        • +3 votes

          That just means you have less antibodies in your blood. So that when you finally get sick, it'll feel like being hit by a train.

      • +7 votes

        but after having read a study that found something like 5% of all coins have been inside someones rectum at one point or another,

        What about 50c pieces?

        Surely they are clean…

        Right? O_O


    i hardly have cash 90% of transactions paid by credit card.

  • +12 votes

    wrong place to ask where 99% of people on here would throw their own mother down the stairs to save 10cents.

    I would be shocked if 99% of people didnt have cash 24/7

  • -1 vote

    If I know I am going to be charged extra for using a card for whatever reason cash. If not card. Digital is so much easier for everybody.. no counting totals at the end of the day yada yada yada but cash also has no trail so if I don't want to be seen theoretically then cash.

    Especially when buying dildos always use cash and never buy "almost brand new". Haha lol. What.

    Also kind of feels weird buying a kebab and chips with card… like drinking beer out of a wine glass.. somethings just feel safer or more "normaler" with cash.

    But since we are on the topic why can't we convert to a full paper or notes system and do away with maybe coins.. or go lower now to only cents for coins.. One thing about the US that I like is their wide adoption and love for notes.. it's dolla dolla bills yo not dolla dolla coins yo haha lol.


    • +1 vote

      Having lived in the US, their currency and coin system is awful. Firstly, they DO have a ton of coins. That's why just about every bank branch has a penny counting machine. Life becomes a never-ending battle of trying to get rid of pennies.

      Secondly, $1 notes are an absolute nuisance. You need a ton of them because you have to tip everywhere, or if you want to use a vending machine or load value onto a transport card, you'll often need $1 notes. But vending machines have way more trouble with crumpled crappy American paper notes (which are less durable than our plastic notes) so you find yourself unsuccessfully trying to get a bottle of water while the machine is having an apoplectic fit spitting out your note because it has a tiny imperceptible crease. Not to mention that $100 notes are not common so usually you find yourself with wads of $1 notes and $20 notes which makes your wallet ridiculously fat.

      Now that's even before you start talking about having every note the same colour and size. Which doesn't sound like a big deal until you accidentally give someone a $20 instead of a $1 because they looked identical and you didn't realise.

      Lots of things about the US are great but their notes and coins are not one of them.


        Speaking as someone who grew up in the US, I many times much prefer the coin system there (Besides the penny, I feel sorry for it). Quarters are actually useful, the fifty cent piece here is soooo annoying and useless compared to $1 or $2 coins. But the exchange rate here affects that (plus Australia tax).

        Why can't they include some parts of the $1 or $2 coins' material in the mixture? Or in the centre like some overseas coins? Rather than just make it bigger with the same stuff that makes up 5, 10, 20 cent coins and add annoying corners?

        I never had a problem with the color of the notes, but I always did a quick double check before handing over my money. The newer notes address that a bit. The different secondary tones to the 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar notes. And larger digits in one back corner. I find the notes more useful there. You never seem to have enough or be able to keep $10s though. About the same with $5s. But you can buy stuff easily with them.

        Here, $5s and $10s aren't enough to buy a whole lot besides food (and even then you may need coins to get the correct change) and seem to just help act as change for using a $20 which always gets used for stuff which always ends up as coins which always ends being piled up and useless like shrapnel in your pocket hence the term unless it's $1 or $2 which goes quick. I hate the 20 cent piece as well almost.

        Those are just my feelings

  • +7 votes

    Im more outraged that you got a beer for $4!!!!

  • +4 votes

    no and it (profanity) shits me when i go to asian grocery stores or take away places that say "CASH ONLY". they must be cheating their staff with cash in hand.

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