Paying by credit card could get even more expensive

By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email
By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email

LEXINGTON, KY. (WKYT)-Starting Sunday, paying by credit card could get more expensive. Under the terms of a $7.2 billion settlement reached last summer between credit card companies and merchants, merchants can now impose a surcharge on customers who pay with plastic.

"Ninety percent pay with a credit card," explained Doodles Restaurant Executive Chef Brian Alder, as he spoke about the people eating in his dining room.

As he talked about being involved in a small business, located on the corner of Third and Limestone in Lexington, Alder says the credit card settlement has him looking for the sunny-side up.

Now, all retailers have the option to pass processing fees, between 1.5 and 4 percent, on to their customers--just for swiping a card.

"I don't think you'll see too many do it because you're asking customers to pay for the privilege of paying for something," he explained.

National experts say there's really no way to know how many businesses will add the processing fee to their customers bottom line. But Alder says most businesses shouldn't rely on it.

"Who's going to charge their customers more because they can go somewhere else?"

His customers appear to agree.

"I think it will hurt some businesses," William Bechtel commented as he ate brunch with his wife and daughter.

'I will seek to avoid places that have a surcharge.'

Consumer advocates say folks should never 'check out' when settling up--every business adopting a credit card fee has to have a sign by the register.

If you ever waffle about which card to use, experts say additional charges don't apply to American Express or Debit card users. They also say cash remains king.

"Doesn't really effect us; we use cash," Dustin Pagel said, while eating french toast casserole.

National experts say websites that impose credit card fees must post something about those fees on their homepages.


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