Stores Can Now Charge You Extra Just for Using a Credit Card

So here's something you should probably know. Starting this past Sunday, January 27th, retailers can now charge up to four percent extra on purchases made using a credit card.

The actual fee will vary, as it's pinned to the cost of how much it costs the retailer to accept the card. That's typically 1.5 to 3 percent, but can go higher. Debit cards are not affected, nor are, obviously, purchases made with cash. The new fee allowance stems from an antitrust suit filed by merchants who were being strong-armed by credit card companies who were found to be conspiring to fix the fees merchants pay to process the fees. So really, this is just merchants passing the cost on to you, which is sort of questionable (accepting credit cards brings more business, etc.) but understandable.

You'll be notified by your retailer if the new charge is applied to your order, so you can tapdance around it if you feel the need. But the easier method, at least online, is probably to just use PayPal, which like debit cards and cash, is also exempt. [Reuters]

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