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What is a Surcharge? A payment card surcharge is a fee that a retailer adds to the cost of a purchase when a customer uses a payment card. 

What is Surcharging?

August 6, 2013

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What is a Surcharge? A payment card surcharge is a fee that a retailer adds to the cost of a purchase when a customer uses a payment card.

Changes to Surcharging Fees in the United States

Effective January 27, 2013, merchants in the United States and U.S. Territories are permitted to impose a surcharge on consumers when they use a credit card.

At this time, TSYS Merchant SolutionsSM has started to address these new rules regarding surcharges and how to best serve our customers. We will continue to update you in the upcoming months.

What This Means for Consumers

Consumers will pay an additional fee when they use their credit card at businesses that decide to surcharge. Consumers should be aware there are limits to the amount merchants can surcharge.*

Businesses are permitted to apply a surcharge to only credit card purchases and cannot impose a surcharge for purchases made using a debit or prepaid card.

If businesses intend to impose a surcharge on credit card purchases, they are required to notify customers before customers make an actual purchase at the store entrance and at the point of sale – or in an online environment, on the first page that references credit card brands.

Businesses must disclose surcharge fees on every receipt – both in store and online. Carefully review receipts where checkout fees should appear.

*Businesses must limit the amount of the surcharge to the applicable merchant discount rate for the credit card transaction surcharged. In cases where the applicable merchant discount rate exceeds 4% of the underlying transaction amount, in no event can the merchant assess a surcharge above 4%.

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