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Credit-card surcharge ruling will have little affect on members

You may have heard something on the news recently about how it could cost you more to shop with a credit card. Well, effective January 27th, merchants have the right to impose a surcharge on credit-card transactions.

The surcharge is part of a settlement announced last July in a federal antitrust lawsuit brought by retailers against Visa and Mastercard swipe fees. Swipe fees are a percentage of the transaction charged by credit card companies each time a consumer uses a credit card to pay for a purchase. This ruling will have little to no affect on our members as credit-card surcharges are banned in Kansas and the majority of major retailers have refused to pass these surcharges onto the consumer. That said, there are still a few points regarding the change in credit card regulations to be aware of:

  • Merchants may begin surcharging effective January 27, 2013, in US region only.
  • Credit-card surcharges are banned by law in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.  Visa and MasterCard have rules that require retailers to handle credit cards the same way in all of their stores across the country. That means a chain with stores in any of the 10 states where a surcharge is banned would not be able to have a surcharge at any of its stores.
  • Surcharges are allowed on credit cards only.  Debit Cards are not subject to surcharges.
  • The surcharge amount cannot exceed 4% of the transaction amount
  • Visa has provided more information at http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_visa/checkout_fees/index.html

To summarize, credit card surcharges will have little affect on HCU members. Surcharges are illegal in Kansas and most major retailers are refusing to pass the charges onto the cardholder. Hutchinson Credit Union will continue to keep you updated on the latest regulations regarding credit cards and how they could impact you.