What is the new credit card check out fee?
Are you ready for another credit card fee? Ready or not starting Sunday retailers will begin passing on a credit card fee called the check out fee unto customers. Beginning January 27th, retailers will start charging what they call the payment card surcharge. This surcharge comes from a settlement reached between merchants and credit card companies in 2012 to defray swiping costs.
What you need to know:
If a retailer charges the surcharge, they must make it clear on the receipt.
Retailers are not allowed to add the surcharge fee to debit card or prepaid card purchases.
Before the actual purchase, retailers have to inform customers they are charging this additional fee.
Retailers can offer a discount from the surcharge if customers pay with cash, a debit or a check.
Not all states are adding the surcharge. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas will not be adding that extra fee.
There is a limit
Retailers must limit the amount of the surcharge to the applicable merchant discount rate. The merchant discount rate is the amount banks charge retailers for providing credit card services. The average discount rate is between 1% – 3%. There are some cases where the merchant discount rate exceeds 4%, however the new surcharge cannot exceed 4%.
Next time you go buy something at a store or online, find out if you are being charged the check out fee if you live in the states that allow it. You might want to consider paying in cash or debit card instead.