Credit Card Surcharges
Updated: Tuesday, February 5 2013, 03:40 PM EST
A landmark legal settlement has cleared the way for merchants to begin collecting as much as 4% in surcharges for people using credit cards. The charges stem from a legal battle between a group of merchants and banks that charge merchants for each credit card transaction.
Consumer advocates say the deal is bad for the public because merchants can now tack on fees if you use a credit card but not a debit card. Debit cards were protected from escalating fees under the so called "Durbin Amendment" in the Dodd Frank Consumer Protection Act. But the amendment left out credit cards which are now facing higher fees.
Local merchants say they'll have to consider the option of adding surcharges on purchase made with credit cards. Fees on swipes continue to rise for merchants and they say it puts small business at a disproportionate disadvantage since they make more small sales and can't negotiate fees like the larger big box stores.
By Frank Fraboni