New Credit Card Fees

New swipe fees to hit credit card usersHave you noticed any businesses charging fees for anyone paying by credit card recently? Due to legislation that came into effect at the end of last month – the result of an antitrust agreement between credit card companies and retailers – it’s now legal for a business to pass on the “swipe fee” (that they previously had to pay themselves) onto the customers.

Credit card companies have always charged merchants a small percentage of the purchase price (typically between one and four %) – known as the swipe fee – for processing the transaction. Now merchants are able to charge their customers a percentage to cover this fee, at least in the 40 US states that do not have any laws in place preventing this exact situation (these states include California, Florida and New York).

However, with the economy as it is, and with so many people already struggling to make ends meet, it’s yet unclear how many businesses are going to risk antagonizing – and possibly losing – customers by passing on the fee. We will be watching to see how this story develops: let us know below what experiences you have had…

Philip