CONSUMER CREDIT Take My Card -- Please

CONSUMER CREDIT Take My Card -- Please

The latest revolution out of Boston pits recession-battered restaurateurs against charge-card giant American Express. Steve DiFillippo, owner of Davio's, where a Northern Italian veal-chop dinner for two can run $100, needed to pare costs. He threatened to turn away the American Express card unless Amex reduced its take -- 3.25% of every purchase, vs. 1.7% to 2% for Visa and MasterCard. Last week the combatants struck a truce when DiFillippo accepted Amex's offer of a 2.9% rate, saving him $11,000 a year. Amex also offered him $6,000 of advertising as part of a new nationwide program to rouse diners out of...

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