Businesses Can Now Legally Charge Consumers for Credit Card Fees.

A class-action settlement reached in July 2012 will now allow retailers to charge their customers more for paying with a credit or debit card. Prior to this settlement credit card companies banned retailers to charge any extra fee for customers choosing to pay with a credit card, actually disallowing the practice in retailers service agreements with the credit card company. This settlement is the culmination of a lawsuit started on behalf of about seven million merchants in 2005.

As of January 27, 2013, the settlement has given the right for merchants to pass along these fees to their customers. Per the agreement, these new surcharges can not be something a retailers can just slip in the price without telling the customers. It is required for the retailers to notify the customer before and after a purchase of the fees they will be charged. In addition, the sales receipt must list the surcharge separately.

This includes online retailers. Websites much clearly notify customers they are about to pay more for an item because of using a credit card.

With the requirements for notifying customers clearly about any fee, many retailers are opting to not charge customers more for using credit cards.