Q. What is a payment card surcharge?
A payment card surcharge, also known as a checkout fee, is an additional fee that a Merchant adds to a consumer's bill when he or she uses a card for payment. Effective April 15, 2023, merchants who use Visa that elect to surcharge must provide advance written notice to your acquirer 30 days prior to surcharging. Previously, merchants would provide written notice to Visa directly via an online form. Prior to April 15, 2023, you may continue to fill out Visa's online form if you are implementing a surcharge.
For all other card brands such as MasterCard and Discover, the merchant must send written notice 30 days prior to surcharging. Merchants will be required to disclose their surcharge policy at the point of store entry and as well as at the point of sale prior to the purchase transaction being completed.
Q. Is a surcharge the right option for my business?
Please see the link below for information regarding whether the surcharge is a good option for your business:
Q. What is the maximum surcharge amount on a credit card that I can add/assess?
The credit card surcharge maximum is 3.00%.
Q. Are there different rules for the different card brands?
Please see the link below for more information regarding Visa Surcharge rules:
Visa Surcharge Rules - You must log in to your account to view the new Visa Surcharging Rules
Please see the link below for information regarding MasterCard Surcharge rules:
Discover and American Express surcharge rules follow those of Visa and MasterCard, but they also note that a surcharge must be applied for all credit card brands.
Q. How do I register with the card brands?
Please search online for "Discover Surcharge Form" and a PDF form-fillable option can be located that has the instruction to submit the form to email@example.com.
Q. Can I surcharge for debit card transactions?
No, U.S. Merchants cannot surcharge debit cards or prepaid card purchases.
Q. Can I assess a surcharge on debit card transactions processed under the “credit” option on the point of sale terminal?
No, the ability to surcharge only applies to purchases made with a credit card, and only under certain conditions. Please refer to the links above for more information.
Q. What states are prevented from charging customers a surcharge?
Surcharging is not allowed everywhere in the U.S. Currently, there are laws limiting surcharging in Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas. California and New York laws on surcharging have been enjoined from enforcement pursuant to court orders, but appeals are pending. An order upholding Florida's law limiting surcharging was reversed on appeal but remains subject to further litigation. Consumers who are subject to a surcharge in states where they may be prohibited from surcharging may want to report the retailer to their state attorney general's office. This list does change so to ensure you are in alignment, please check your state laws before surcharging.