Take action to avoid new credit card fees
MILWAUKEE - In the past few days there have been a number of reports about added fees that may be charged if you pay by credit card.
Why are these fees being charged?
In the past few years, merchants have been paying card issuers like Visa and Mastercard, as well some banks added transaction fees when a credit card was used.
Up until now, merchants absorbed these fees.
However as a part of a major settlement with Visa, Mastercard, and some banks, merchants in many states, including Wisconsin, are now allowed to pass these costs on to consumers.
How will you know if you are being charged these fees and how significant are they?
Merchants and online retailers must post a notice if they will be imposing this fee for credit card purchases.
The fees are expected to be somewhere between one to possibly as high as four percent of your purchase.
But, consumer experts do not expect that all merchants will be passing these along.
The main impact is likely to be from smaller businesses who typically pay larger processing fees because they do not have the same bargaining power with card issuers and banks as some of the larger merchants.
How can we take action to avoid paying some of these fees?
Watch for signs or notices about these fees before you pay.
If you do not want to pay an added cost, pay with cash, debit, or with another card such as American Express or Discover.
These cards may prohibit merchants from passing these fees on to you.
Take action. If you have been charged a fee without being forwarned, demand a refund.
If you are dissatisfied with merchants who pass these fees on, speak up.
Let them know that you want these fees to be waived.
Remember, you have a choice in where you choose to shop and how you choose to pay.