Credit Union News

Card Surcharge Myths

Several media outlets have recently highlighted a credit card surcharge that could affect consumers. The surcharges are new fees that some merchants and retailers will be allowed to charge consumers who use credit cards to make purchases. We've put together a list of a few myths that might be circulating regarding the potential charges, as well as the realities of the situation:

MYTH: These fees will affect my everyday life.

FACT: For the vast majority of RBFCU members, you won't be likely to encounter these fees. Several states have put “no surcharge” laws in place which will prevent members from being charged to use their card. These states include Texas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Oklahoma.

MYTH: Financial institutions are charging their members/customers these fees.

FACT: In places where the surcharges are allowed, they are not charged by the financial institutions. Instead, they are charged by merchants. The financial institution has no say in the matter.

MYTH: I'll get taken by surprise with these fees. The merchants charging these fees are required to post information regarding their fees at the store entrance, at the point-of-sale or on their website. And, the surcharge must be listed on the receipt for every purchase.

MYTH: There's no way to avoid these fees.

FACT: If you are visiting a retail location where a surcharge is added to credit card purchases, there's an easy way to avoid paying the extra fee. Surcharges are allowed on credit card use only, so you can use your Freedom Check Card instead. By using your debit card, you'll avoid any additional fees, and you'll earn 10 cents cash back on your purchase. If you don't yet have a Freedom Check Card, you can request one today.