Surcharging is allowed in certain states, be sure that you have followed the rules/regulations before surcharging customers.
MasterCard and Visa have recently settled a lawsuit which will allow surcharging of credit card sales in certain states.
You can read more here:
The following states PROHIBIT surcharging:
- California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Beginning January 27, 2013, merchants in the United States and U.S. Territories will be permitted to impose a surcharge on consumers when they use a credit card.
Merchants must notify Visa 30 days before they wish to begin a surcharge. They may do so here: Visa Surcharge Registration For MasterCard, they must email this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
With the following information:
- Merchant Name
- Merchant Contact Information (address, phone and email)
- Number of Locations Surcharging
- Type of Channel (face-to-face, eCommerce, mail order or phone order)
- Type of Surcharge (brand or product)
The MAXIMUM Surcharge Amount can be 4%, however the surcharge must be in-line with your Discount Rate, i.e. effective rate of your cards you currently take.
Merchants must disclose at the Point of Entry to the store that they surcharge.
Merchants must disclose at the Point of Sale (checkout) that they surcharge.
Merchants must disclose the dollar amount surcharged on every receipt.
(Examples of surcharging disclosures are here: Visa Surcharging PDF)
Merchants MAY NOT surcharge any debit cards. Surcharging is for Credit Cards only.
Merchants who surcharge may still be liable for fines if they mistakenly surcharge a debit card.
American Express has a rule that says all forms of electronic payment types must be treated equally, so in surcharging an Amex transaction, they would also need to surcharge debit and credit Visa/MC transactions. Debit is prohibited from being surcharged; therefore, Amex Rules would likely prohibit surcharging Amex sales as a result of the unequal surcharging across all electronic payment types.
If you have more questions, please refer to these sits: