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New credit card fees coming to a shop near you

If you use a credit card to buy anything anywhere, merchants can start adding a new checkout fee to those purchases starting Sunday, January 27.

Beginning Sunday, January 27, 2013, merchants can start adding a new checkout fee to every purchase you make with a credit card.

Retailers previously had to absorb the fees credit card companies charged them to process your purchases made with a credit card.  Those fees are typically between one and four percent of the purchase total.     

Retailers filed a lawsuit complaining about the extra expenses, and the settlement from that action now lets them pass those fees on to customers.

That means in all but 10 states, merchants will be allowed to add the credit card fee to your purchase total.  Not all retailers will necessarily add the fees, like Mint Green Boutique owner, Aimee Winslow.

She says most of the transactions made in her store are through credit and adding extra fees would only driver her customers away, "I personally would not charge any customer for using a credit card. I think it's just kind of bad for business."

The fees are legal and allowed in Iowa and Illinois.  They are illegal in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.  

The fees are only allowed on credit and charge card purchases; they do not apply to purchases made with debit cards. 

If they are going to charge the so-called “checkout fees,” retailers are required to clearly post the surcharge in their stores and on their websites.   They can only charge you what they pay to accept your credit card. 

Get more information about the new retailer checkout fees online  - click here.

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