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Office of Consumer Protection

Credit Card Checkout Fees/Surcharges

Cash or credit?  Until now this choice has been a matter of convenience, but as of January 27, 2013, this decision may impact your wallet at checkout.  Retailers now have the option of passing the surcharge fee, typically between 1.5% and 4%, to consumers when a credit or charge card is used. 
Passing the surcharge to consumers is not mandatory and retailers may not charge consumers this added fee.  However, you should know what to look for before making a purchase. 
Below are some helpful tips and guidelines regarding credit card surcharges:
  • Stores that charge checkout fees or surcharges will have to post a notice at the entrance to the store and will have to disclose the exact amount at the point of sale.
  • Retailers are not required to disclose the surcharge fee in advertisements. 
  • You should always contact the retailer to find out if there are any extra fees before you go to the store. 
  • Before checking out, ask the clerk if there is a surcharge fee and how much it will be.
  • Online retailers must disclose the surcharge on the first page that a credit card is mentioned; meaning the total can change moments before checking out.
  • Retailers can only surcharge consumers for the actual cost of processing credit card transactions.
  • This surcharge does not apply to debit and prepaid cards.

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