This post is brought to you by Creditnet.com.
Did you know that retailers in 40 U.S. states can now charge you up to 4 percent extra when you pay with a credit card? According to Reuters, the surcharge is the result of an anti-trust settlement — the biggest in U.S. history! Below I share four tips to help you avoid paying the new credit card fees.
How has the new credit card fees impacted your credit card use?
The “check out” fees, which went into effect on Jan. 27, are illegal in ten states including California, New York, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Maine, Kansas, Connecticut and Colorado. Think you dodged a bullet? We didn’t. We ARE already paying for them in the price of the merchandise.
Let me make it clear that merchants are NOT profiting from the fee. They are just covering their costs and they CAN NOT add a mark up fee amount either. The fee MUST be disclosed. If you don’t see any signage, ask the merchant before paying! If they’re set on charging you a “check out” fee, you can protest by taking your business elsewhere.
Here are other ways to avoid the fees, though they are inconvenient:
- Use a debit card. The fees do not apply to debit card payments so make the switch if you have one.
- Switch to cash. This means having to make a run to the nearest ATM to withdrawal money to pay. You can also plan accordingly and switch to cash only spending.
- Apply for a rewards credit card. Getting money back from your credit card company can offset the cost of the surcharges.
- Open a Paypal account. Like shopping online? The fees apply to cyberspace as well. Even if you don’t live in the 40 states that are charging the “check out” fee, you’ll still have to pay up. Funding a Paypal may be the solution for you.
What will you do when faced with the 4% fee?
- What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in February (Wise Bread)