Merchants now allowed to charge 'checkout fee' for credit card purchases

CREATED Jan 28, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - The next time you swipe your card you might be saving money if you choose "debit" rather than "credit". That's because of new fees stores in most states can now charge customers for using your credit card.

It's all part of a settlement between Visa, MasterCard and nine banks. Because of the settlement, merchants can now pass on the fees the credit issuers make them pay.

That means the customer could be charged 1.5 to 3 percent more on your purchase if you choose to charge it. The fee doesn't apply to debit transactions.

Walmart released a statement saying the settlement would cost consumers "tens of billions of dollars each year."

MasterCard says it doesn't expect most merchants to add the surcharge because they don't want to drive away business.