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“Checkout fee” takes effect, carries implications for online shoppers

320px-Cash_RegistersAs of Sunday, retailers will now be able to charge a “checkout fee” of up to four percent to customers who pay using a credit card, a change that will affect online shoppers across the country.

Before the $7.2 billion settlement reached between Visa, MasterCard, banks and merchants, retailers were prohibited from passing the costs of credit card processing fees on to consumers.

As a result of the settlement, the card companies announced that they would change their rules to allow merchants to charge the new fee, which retailers maintain would help recoup revenue lost to card processing fees. Some states, however, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas, prohibit surcharging.

Lynette Baker, the director of marketing and outreach at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester, said that the retailer can pass on a surcharge anywhere between 1.5 percent and four percent.冰熊水滑梯

“In general, if you can use cash, use it,” Baker said, according to WHEC.com. “We always say that anyway to people as oppose to racking up credit card debt. Then you’re only spending what you have. This does not apply to debit cards. So you can use you debit card in place of your credit card and avoid the surcharges.”

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