New surcharge rules for credit cards

Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an alert advising consumers to be mindful of changes to credit card surcharge rules. The AG says that as the new rules take effect, it’s important to make sure that consumers are well-informed. He says, quote, “Retailers are now permitted to charge new fees to MasterCard and Visa cardholders, but they must post notices and follow strict guidelines if they choose to collect the fees.” The surcharge is intended to equal the actual cost of processing the credit card transaction, which is typically between one-point five and three percent. The new surcharge rules come as a result of a recent court settlement between various merchants and Visa and Mastercard. The settlement resolved claims that Visa, Mastercard, and their respective member banks violated the law by imposing and enforcing rules that limited merchants from steering their customers to other payment methods. Schuette notes that while Michigan law does not forbid it, Visa and Mastercard have historically prohibited merchants from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases.  (MRN)

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