Excessive card charges outlawed

Most of us have experienced them. You book your flight online and you find that you face a significant surcharge for the privilege of giving the airline your business, because you are paying by credit or debit card. Or, you walk into your local food take-away and find that they charge a hefty surcharge for paying with anything other than cash.

Well, excessive surcharges should now be a thing of the past – at least for larger businesses. “Micro businesses” and start-up businesses will be exempt until June 2014.

credit card surcharges

The new measures, introduced by the government on April 6, 2013, mean that it is now up to suppliers to prove that any surcharge represents the real cost of processing the transaction.

As a guide, Which? says:
  • Charges for paying by credit card should not be more than about 2% of the total. Which says that on a £200 purchase, the charge for using a credit card should be no more than £4.
  • Charges for paying by debit card should not be any more than 20p and should ideally be free

If you find charges that you believe are excessive you can report them on the Which? website.
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