Retailers can now add surcharges to certain credit cards - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Retailers can now add surcharges to certain credit cards

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The credit card purchases you make could now mean an extra fee at checkout. Retailers are now allowed to tack on an extra amount to your bill if you use Visa or MasterCard.

"I'll be graduating in may so I have to pay of a lot of student loans," Kennedy Harrison said.

Because of those loans UAB senior Kennedy Harrison keeps a close eye on all her purchases. Now she says she'll pay even more attention to the transactions she makes because of the new fees retailers are allowed to charge customers.

"A recent rule change where if a business is using a Visa and Master card they can charge a surcharge," Stanley Funches, a financial consultant, said.

Generally banks charge stores between 1.5% to 3% for every credit card transaction. They are fees retailers say cut into their profits. Now those fees can be passed on to the consumer and tacked on to the service or product you're purchasing.

"It's to offset cost," Funches said.

It's up to each business whether or not to charge the fee. Many larger retailers say for now they won't be making customers pay. Funches says smaller businesses may be more likely to institute the new fee.

"You may see more mom and pop or local service places like barber shops and beauty shops begin to charge this surcharge," Funches said.

Harrison says the fee could make her think twice about a purchase.

"It would affect my decision paying for it just because I'm watching what I pay for and watching my budget," she said.

But some consumers say the fee which would add a few cents or dollars to each purchase is not enough to stop them from buying.

"It's not enough to stop me from going to a business," Charlie Denton said.

There are some other things to take note of about the fee. It is for Visa and MasterCard only. The surcharge cannot be added to American Express purchases. If a store does decide to charge the fee they will have to post notices at the register letting customers know. And you can always get around the fee by simply using a debit card.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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