Credit card surcharge ban – all you need to know

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From Saturday you can’t be charged an extra fee if you pay for something by credit or debit card. What does the credit card surcharge ban mean?

The credit card surcharge ban

The credit card surcharge ban comes into force on Saturday 13th January. It means you can’t be charged extra if you pay by credit or debit card. It applies whether you’re using your card in high street shops, at online retailers, airlines or local councils. It doesn’t matter whether you’re paying in person or online – the ban still applies. The credit card surcharge ban also applies if you buy something from a company based in the European Union.

SAVVY TIP: The credit card surcharge ban doesn’t apply to business credit or debit cards. If you pay for something with a business card, the shop or company you’re buying from can charge a fee. However, it can only pass on the extra cost of processing the payment. It cannot make a profit on it.

What does the credit card surcharge ban mean?

The credit card surcharge ban means you won’t be able to be charged extra if you pay by credit or debit card. It oesn’t just affect credit or debit card payments – you can’t be charged extra if you pay by PayPal or Apple or Android Pay. The ban affects any payment method that’s specifically aimed at individual consumers.

Will the ban mean higher prices?

It is possible that prices may rise as a result of the ban. Just Eat, the takeaway delivery company, has started to impose a 50p service fee – no matter how you pay. Some retailers may impose a minimum spend if you pay by credit card, or increase the minimum spend they already have.

Smaller shops may also decide not to accept payments by credit card. HM Revenue and Customs has already said that it won’t accept payments by personal credit card from 13th January. So, you won’t be able to pay your self-assessment tax bill, capital gains tax or taxes such as stamp duty by credit card. However, this ban on credit card payments doesn’t apply to business credit cards.

What can you do if you’re asked to pay a surcharge?

If you’re asked to pay an extra fee for paying by credit or debit charge, you should report the company to Trading Standards. However, companies will still be able to charge fees that aren’t directly linked to you paying by credit or debit card. These include service charges and booking fees, such as those imposed by many theatres and cinemas.

Related articles:

Understanding your credit card rights under Section 75

What ombudsman schemes are there? Who can you complain to?

What is the minimum payment on a credit card? Watch out for minimum payments

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