Airlines named worst offenders for excessive credit card surcharges

Airlines, taxis, major hotels and restaurants have been called out as the worst offenders for credit card surcharging by Australian consumers as new research by MasterCard revealed that credit card surcharges are costing us $800 million annually.

Despite Reserve Bank efforts to try and stamp out the practice of excessive surcharging by retailers, in the past 12 months the average Australian household has paid over $100 in excessive credit and debit card surcharges says MasterCard.

72 per cent of Australians believe that some businesses are exploiting the system and surcharging unfairly. 32 per cent of people named airlines are the worst offenders followed by taxis (11%) and restaurants (9%).

Australian consumers are aware of what's going on and its time that the practice of unfair and excessive surcharging was stamped out said MasterCard country manager Andrew Cartwright.

"Changes made one year ago to regulations have not worked and its time the government made enforcement a priority," he said.

"Putting families out of pocket by $100 annually is unacceptable. That's about 20 school lunches, a tank of petrol or a monthly phone bill."

In addition to high credit card surcharges many consumers are being stung with credit card interest rates of more than 20 per cent. Despite falling interest rates over the past 12 months, credit card interest rates have remained high and consumers are encouraged to shop around to get a better deal by using tools like Mozo's Switch & Save Calculator which compares your card with the market and shows you which cards will save you the most in interest and fees.