WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Be on the lookout for new credit card "checkout fees"

Posted January 26, 2013
Updated January 28, 2013

As of Jan. 27, it may cost you more to use your credit card even if you have no annual fees or monthly balance. Merchants will now be able to charge credit card users a surcharge for paying with credit, up to 4% of the purchase price. According to a recent article, the checkout fees will need to be disclosed on the receipt and posted in the store.  Although 10 states currently have laws restricting these types or checkout fees, North Carolina is not one of them.

What does this mean for you? If you find that a retailer has opted to charge a checkout fee if you pay by credit card, that is the time to pay by cash or check. Debit cards are also exempt from these fees.

credit card checkout fees NC merchants could charge for credit card use

The only reason we use our credit card is because it offers rewards in the form of gift cards. I use a credit card with no annual fee and because we pay off our balance every month, we do not incur monthly fees.  If I have to pay a fee to use the card, the benefit of using credit will be greatly reduced and possibly eliminated (depending on the fees that retailers charge).  If that is the case, I will move to a cash only system.

Some financial experts have mentioned that larger retailers will probably not opt to charge the fee, but that many smaller retailers and service providers may. Make sure you ask if you will be charged any extra fees the next time you decide to use your credit card.

43 Comments

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  • Scubagirl Feb 1, 11:58 a.m.

    "Also, not many people know that if a merchant has the Mastercard or Visa symbol posted then they MUST accept your card. So, even if their POS system is down, they have to do it the old fashioned way. And they can't refuse to take your card for small payments.

    JohnnyMcRonny"

    Actually had a taxi in December refuse to take my card even tho' sign posted because the system was 'down'. Now I don't know if that was true or not, he also offered to drive me by an ATM-I declined, but I will NEVER use that taxi service again.

  • JohnnyMcRonny Feb 1, 10:36 a.m.

    "AMEX and Discover do not allow the merchants to charge surcharges so if the Merchant charges Visa and Master card cardholder's surchages they cannot take AMEX or Discover cards." - sbrown

    Aah - I've always wondered why that is.

    Also, not many people know that if a merchant has the Mastercard or Visa symbol posted then they MUST accept your card. So, even if their POS system is down, they have to do it the old fashioned way. And they can't refuse to take your card for small payments.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jan 31, 6:38 p.m.

    sbrown - "Do reporters not read before they write."

    This is a NEW government law.

    Up until now, stores and business were not permitted to recoup those costs.

    All we need to do is avoid those that pass this cost on.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jan 31, 6:37 p.m.

    spudmich - "In regard to the new credit card 'check out fees', what about a debit card used as credit?"

    Debit cards are NOT affected. If you use it as a credit, however, it may well be because the store's computer is going to see it as a credit.

  • sbrown Jan 31, 3:19 p.m.

    Do reporters not read before they write. Visa allows its merchants to charge surcharges only if they charge their competition also. AMEX and Discover do not allow the merchants to charge surcharges so if the Merchant charges Visa and Master card cardholder's surchages they cannot take AMEX or Discover cards. Also if the Merchant does business in states the forbid surcharges they cannot charge surcharges in the other states. So the only merchants that can charge surchages on Visa and Master card credit card customers are not nationwide companies and they only take Visa or Master Cards.

  • JohnnyMcRonny Jan 31, 2:01 p.m.

    "Remember when gas stations used to charge an extra nickel per gallon at the pump..." - jbwhite2

    Much to my disgust, this still happens. Just a year or so ago the Sheetz near Brier Creek charged me an extra 10c per gallon. It wasn't disclosed anywhere. I only noticed after I had finished pumping and looked at the price. I will never, ever buy from there again. Thankfully, other Sheetz stations were not charging extra.

    Moral - don't assume those days are long gone and check the pump!

  • JohnnyMcRonny Jan 31, 1:58 p.m.

    "the checkout fees will need to be disclosed on the receipt" - you mean after you've paid? Isn't that just a little bit after the fact?

    "and posted in the store" - how exactly? In a dark corner on a noticeboard? The cashier should have to tell you.

  • spudmich Jan 30, 9:12 p.m.

    In regard to the new credit card 'check out fees', what about a debit card used as credit?

  • NCSULandscaper Jan 30, 8:33 p.m.

    The NC Dept of Rev charges a 2% fee when you pay withholding taxes online using a credit or debit card

  • Scubagirl Jan 30, 2:45 p.m.

    I would like to see a follow-up listing of stores that DO charge this and add to it as more do, or remove if they stop. I will NOT pay a surcharge, already pay yearly for the 'privilege' of having a cc

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