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Jan 29, 2013 07:02 AM

How about retailers (restaurants, stores etc.) being allowed to charge cc users the cc fee's

I don't know how many of you are aware but it was recently passed in all but 10 states I believe that retailers can now charge the customer up to 4% to cover the cost of accepting credit cards. 4% is roughly what most credit card companies charge to a retailer for the use of their service. Now you can see a "service" charge on your receipts of this amount.

Pay attention to your receipts because it's not mandatory so see who is and who isn't passing this fee along to you and save yourself the added expense!!

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  1. Every retailer that accepts cards passes the fees along to customers. Either the cost of using cards is included in the total price, or it is added as an itemized charge. Either way, you're paying. Doesn't bother me at all to see the actual cost of using a card, especially at smaller, local businesses that operate on razor thin margins. If paying cash or paying a relatively small fee helps my friends and neighbors stay in business, it's fine by me.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mpjmph

      I agree that the retailer passes the cost along in one way or another. The problem that I have, though, is that if the 4% (or whatever) is already built in, then what they really SHOULD be doing is giving a discount for using cash. What will happen now, though, is that they'll just tack on an additional 4%.

      Yes, retailers are certainly allowed to charge what they can get, make a profit, etc. But, on the other hand, accepting credit cards (convenient for the customer) is also a cost of doing business.

      This is one of those ones where I can see both sides of the argument. As a consumer, though, if they're going to tack on 4%, I'll be shopping elsewhere.

      1. re: jbsiegel

        People will do that anyway, regardless of how the retailer approaches it. But restaurant food is not a commodity. People look at the cost, but do not usually pick the restaurant with the cheapest meal of the type they are seeking. They choose a place they like and which is affordable. If the price goes up a little, not many will go elsewhere. At some point it may be too expensive, but 4% is not a big increase. Who knows what the profit margin of a particular restaurant is, anyway?

        1. re: GH1618

          also, i'd imagine that one factor would be how spread out the restaurants are and the price/difficulty of getting to one rather than another restaurant.

          in los angeles most of us drive almost everywhere.
          the with cost of wear and tear on our cars, the misery of traffic at most waking hours, and the currently high price of gas, it doesn't make sense for us to drive very far to a slightly cheaper restaurant.

    2. I predict very few retailers will actually add a charge for using a credit card.

      3 Replies
      1. re: carolinadawg

        Say it's the skeptic in me but I think the actually will. It's a away of increasing their profits without having to raise prices. Time will tell just keep an eye on those receipts my friends!!

        1. re: jrvedivici

          Retailers have had this ability in Canada for as far back as I recall.
          The only ones that ever charge you an extra fee for using credit cards are the small mom & pop convenience stores...and some restaurants/cafes. I can't recall ever being charged the fee by any major grocery chain.

          1. re: jrvedivici

            as it is, i normally pay cash at all mon 'n pop places.
            it's hard enough for them to survive, without adding the cost and the cash-flow problems involved in a credit card transaction.

            when i used to lease office/retail/restaurant space, i came to understand how much more landlords will extract from a mom 'n pop operation than they will from a chain for the same amount/quality of space.
            i'd assume that food suppliers operate similarly.

        2. I'm puzzled as to why this is new news. Retailers have always accounted for those expenses in their prices. Maybe now they can explicitly list the cost as a separate line item like they do taxes?

          4% is high. We used the Square recently for a sale and their rate is 2.75%.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tcamp

            Square's trying to enter the market; I would expect it to be relatively cheap. Very roughly, I think Amex charges 3-5% and Visa 0.5-2.0%.

          2. Our local liquor store started adding this fee in January. It ticks me off - some things are just the cost of doing business and not the customer's problem. We as customers have little to no bargaining leverage with the credit card companies to impact this fee, but vendors do. I can see some of the larger stores start using this "fee" as another profit stream and upcharging the fee . . . .

            1 Reply
            1. re: thimes

              <<We as customers have little to no bargaining leverage>>

              it seems to me we have absolute leverage.
              if we stop by our ATM and pay with cash al the time, the credit card companies will make NOTHING.
              also, by paying with cash, we wouldn't be holding the shopkeepers and restaurant owners hostage in this battle.

              truly the only parties that have any real leverage are the consumers and the credit card companies.

            2. The accounting for this fee has only somewhat been accounted for in the past. Retailers don't list "cash" versus "charge" prices (okay years ago this was common at gas stations) - so does this mean that those of you who assume this fee has always been part of pricing just assume that you are actually paying 4% more when you pay cash since the price already includes the charge fee?

              With this new change do you expect all your retailers to drop their prices by 4% since the charge will no longer be included in the list price?

              To me it seems like this change is just a masked 4% price increase for retailers who can then just raise their hands and say "it isn't our fault".

              And I agree that 4% seems high, which makes me wonder if retailers will negotiate a lower rate with the card companies but still pass through a 4% fee since that is what customers have been told to expect. . . .

              1 Reply
              1. re: thimes

                I'm pretty sure the new law only allows retailers to charge percentage equal to the actual fee they themselves pay.

                I belive we will see many more retailers offering a discount for cash payment, rather than adding a "service charge" for credit purchases.