Credit card surcharges are optional fees added by a merchant when customers use a credit card to pay at checkout. Surcharges are legal unless restricted by state law. Businesses that choose to add surcharges are required to follow protocols to ensure full transparency. The surcharge regulations outlined below only apply within the U.S.

Under Visa and Mastercard, retailers are required to register the surcharge with the payment network. Then, they must display a notice of the surcharge at the point of sale — both in-store and online. The consumer’s receipt must also indicate a surcharge was added to the bill.

Surcharges cannot be imposed on debit cards or prepaid debit transactions.

If merchants add a surcharge, they must decide to add them at the brand or product level — but not both. A brand level surcharge adds the same fee to all credit card transactions from the same payment network, such as Visa or Mastercard. A product level surcharge applies to a particular type of Visa or Mastercard, such as Visa Signature or World Elite Mastercard. The maximum surcharge is 4% of the credit card transaction.***


***This information was published and provided by Value Penguin 


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