In addition, 10 U.S. states -- California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas -- don't allow retailers to impose credit card surcharges on consumer purchases. The NRF says the deal between merchants and credit card carriers mandates that all stores in a chain must charge extra for credit card purchases, so retailers may not be able to put surcharges in place because if they're banned in the 10 states that bar them.
Other industry groups, including the Electronic Payments Coalition, say the deal is evolving and there is, or will soon be, no reason why a store in Baton Rouge, La., won't add those surcharges even if a store in the same chain can't charge them in Boston.
There is some history here, and it doesn't favor consumers.A similar surcharge ruling in Australia in 2003 showed consumers have reason to worry. While few retailers chose to add card charges shortly after the Aussie rule was handed down, data show that more than 30% are now charging consumers more to use credit cards. What can consumers do to fight back, or at least avoid new fees? For one, vote with your feet. It might be worth sending a note to retailers who charge such a fee (you can tell by looking at your receipt, where the card charge is a separate line item cost from your purchase) to say you're taking your business to a non-surcharging retailer. If enough consumers take a stand, retailers may back off. Otherwise, use a debit card or cash for purchase and avoid any fees altogether. In reality, the smoke is just starting to clear from the legal settlement between card providers and U.S. merchants. As the situation evolves, consumers will see which retailers charge the credit card fee and which will not. With potentially 4% of the total purchase price on the line, it's well worth keeping an eye on the issue
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV