Surging credit surcharges in the US?

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Old Sep 28, 22, 12:55 am   -   Wikipost
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Some key factors of credit surcharging as it applies to the US market only.
-Disclosure and itemization is key. You can still report such issues if there is indeed lack of proper disclosure AND itemization. Itemization is going to be very unlikely unless the terminal is specifically setup to create that line item. Those merchants who just tell you and "add it to the card total" are not compliant. They may not care even with complaints made to Visa/MC/Discover/AmEx.
-Visa's complaint form: https://usa.visa.com/Forms/visa-rules.html Visa does review all complaints and asks the merchant/processor for a response, but you might never hear back from them on the outcome. Sometimes, you will see a minor change at the store. Visa also does covert operations to visit such merchants in certain situations.
-Discover and AmEx as "closed loop" systems require any complaints be done directly as a cardholder under their current merchant dispute options.
-The current surcharge limit in the US is 4%
-Mastercard's website on this topic: https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/merc...rge-rules.html
-Mastercard's document on this topic: https://www.mastercard.us/content/da...arge_Rules.pdf
-Elavon's guidance for merchants to get surcharge allowance: https://website.elavon.com/cbsettlement.html
-Visa and Mastercard allow product-level surcharges (such as only Signature or World/World Elite), but that seems really hard to communicate and implement, so brand-level (all Visa/Mastercard/etc.) is the only kind I have seen so far.
-AmEx does not require fee itemization.
California NO LONGER feels it can go against merchants who add surcharges (even beyond the initial "industries" that were allowed in the court ruling):
Same also applies in Florida and Texas.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 9:48 pm
  #151  
 
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What's interesting is that surcharging is sort of a DCC style practice in Australia where the merchant will enter the amount before the surcharge, but then the surcharge applies after presenting the payment method. Here is an example of the typical setup:

https://i.imgur.com/fT7i8PT.mp4

With merchants applying surcharges in the US, I've always seen the amount at the prompt before presenting the payment card reflect the surcharge.
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Old Jun 29, 22, 11:58 pm
  #152  
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
What's interesting is that surcharging is sort of a DCC style practice in Australia where the merchant will enter the amount before the surcharge, but then the surcharge applies after presenting the payment method. Here is an example of the typical setup:

https://i.imgur.com/fT7i8PT.mp4

With merchants applying surcharges in the US, I've always seen the amount at the prompt before presenting the payment card reflect the surcharge.
I know that Clover devices will show the amount and then "+ X surcharge" type wording on the insert/tap/swipe screen if the merchant sets one up. I've only seen that once so far, though.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 5:42 am
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
I know that Clover devices will show the amount and then "+ X surcharge" type wording on the insert/tap/swipe screen if the merchant sets one up. I've only seen that once so far, though.
I have seen two Square terminals here, but neither place levied a surcharge. I've mostly seen card payments at merchants, so people have come to accept the surcharges it seems. I imagine it's like at gas stations in the US where there's a different cash and credit price but it doesn't materially alter behavior. Since the surcharges are mostly 1.5% or lower and I'm mostly having category bonus spend, I'm still coming out ahead relative to cash.
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Old Jun 30, 22, 7:56 am
  #154  
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
With merchants applying surcharges in the US, I've always seen the amount at the prompt before presenting the payment card reflect the surcharge.
Magoo's Place (restaurant) in Alpine, TX. added a surcharge with no warning. I handed a credit card and received a receipt that included a surcharge. (I believe it was 4%, but I'm not sure.)
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Old Jul 12, 22, 8:46 pm
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I got a receipt from a Crocs store and it had something I had never seen printed before. I was using a WEMC with really no special benefits (no AF), and the receipt printed a lot of internal lines. For both card type and payment variant headers, it said "mcsuperpremiumcredit". Now, the only reason this is important because it would dictate potentially a different discount fee (not always). Of course, it might be interesting if I used a lower tier card to see what it would say or even signature/non-PIN debit, but that was not feasible for this particular purchase.

So, it is definitely possible for a POS to instantly segment a payment type no matter how it is presented for the purpose of surcharges. It might require an online process, but I am not so sure about that as it appears any online process response came later on the receipt.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 9:28 pm
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I've only seen the surcharge in restaurants and convenience shops in NY. In the later, after they ring it up, I just cancel the order since I'm not paying the 4% CC fee and I am not carrying cash. I normally tip 20% in the restaurant, however, I've now discounted it to 16% due to the fee. It evens out in the end. Some may not agree with this, and that's fine, but this is BS that they are now passing these fees on to us. I still do not pass on the fees. It's part of the cost of business. When more people start doing this, things may change.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 1:29 am
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
I have seen two Square terminals here, but neither place levied a surcharge. I've mostly seen card payments at merchants, so people have come to accept the surcharges it seems. I imagine it's like at gas stations in the US where there's a different cash and credit price but it doesn't materially alter behavior. Since the surcharges are mostly 1.5% or lower and I'm mostly having category bonus spend, I'm still coming out ahead relative to cash.
Outside certain regions, notably California, and some places back east, the practice of a separate price for cash and credit at gas stations is rare.

Also in California it is a bit fuzzy but debit cards should be getting the cash price... but usually don't... unless you are in an area where someone raised a stink about it.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by storewanderer View Post
Outside certain regions, notably California, and some places back east, the practice of a separate price for cash and credit at gas stations is rare..
There are plenty of regions outside the US where "any discount for cash?" will get you a nice discount but .... that's not credit card fees they're saving on....
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Old Jul 14, 22, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by storewanderer View Post
Outside certain regions, notably California, and some places back east, the practice of a separate price for cash and credit at gas stations is rare.

Also in California it is a bit fuzzy but debit cards should be getting the cash price... but usually don't... unless you are in an area where someone raised a stink about it.
It usually clearly says "credit/debit" and "cash". Sometimes their own branded credit cards get the cash price. Since this is posted as a cash discount and not a surcharge, I don't think the networks' rules about surcharging are applicable. This was common practice even back when surcharging was banned by both the card networks and California law.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by storewanderer View Post
Outside certain regions, notably California, and some places back east, the practice of a separate price for cash and credit at gas stations is rare.
Yes, I remember seeing it prominently when I moved to California for the first time.
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Old Jul 21, 22, 1:30 pm
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Ive noticed 3 different restaurants near me have started charging credit card fees. Not cheap places either. As I typically dont carry $100+ in cash, I will simply choose another place to eat - there are hundreds.
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Old Jul 25, 22, 2:54 pm
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Just bumped into this story in my news feed: State sends warning letters about credit card fees to 14 N.J. businesses
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Old Jul 25, 22, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by cjw2001 View Post
I've always held that surcharging would likely be a lot more tolerated* by the public if stores who want to impose them actually followed the rules surrounding them (proper disclosure, not surcharging for debit cards, etc.) As many of the places that impose them do sketchy things like not disclosing them properly, surcharging all card types, etc., it comes off as more of a tax dodge/cash grab than any sort of protest against the card networks--at least IMO anyway.

* Though that may not be saying much.
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Old Jul 25, 22, 6:27 pm
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
I've always held that surcharging would likely be a lot more tolerated* by the public if stores who want to impose them actually followed the rules surrounding them (proper disclosure, not surcharging for debit cards, etc.) As many of the places that impose them do sketchy things like not disclosing them properly, surcharging all card types, etc., it comes off as more of a tax dodge/cash grab than any sort of protest against the card networks--at least IMO anyway.

* Though that may not be saying much.
It hasn't detracted use in Australia, but there the surcharge is almost universally 1-1.5%. There were a few merchants charging higher than that, but in those instances I paid cash. It's not like the restaurant in Carmel two months ago that had something obnoxious like a nearly 4% fee. That's more than covering your costs (unless you've got a horrible deal with your payment processor).
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Old Jul 25, 22, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Majuki View Post
It hasn't detracted use in Australia, but there the surcharge is almost universally 1-1.5%. There were a few merchants charging higher than that, but in those instances I paid cash. It's not like the restaurant in Carmel two months ago that had something obnoxious like a nearly 4% fee. That's more than covering your costs (unless you've got a horrible deal with your payment processor).
In Australia I believe EFTPOS isn't allowed to be surcharged, either. Since most people seem to use debit cards for day to day purchases anyway, the surcharges likely have less impact (vs. the US where the places with surcharges tend to surcharge regardless of card type simply because a lot of the time, debit cards are going to be run over Visa or MC. Or at least, that's how they seem to justify imposing them.)
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