Cheerio Credit Card Charges

Credit card users will be feeling a large weight lifted off their shoulders as Visa implements a ban on excessive credit card surcharges as of today.

The new rules, brought about in response to a review by the RBA are intended to protect consumers from companies using credit card surcharge fees as a source of revenue. Culprits including taxis and airline companies have been accused of charging as much as 10 percent surcharge on credit card paymnets, a fee that goes well beyond the cost incurred by the business.

"Retailers will need to review their surcharging practices to make sure their surcharges are not excessive and that they are clearly disclosed up front to customers, both in-store and online," said Visa country manager for Australia Vipin Kalra.

According to Tyro Payments, if Mastercard, AMEX and Diners Club followed Visa's lead, Australians would save almost $350 million a year on excessive charges but also suggested that it is not just businesses to blame.

"The truth is many small businesses are being forced to fund the lucrative loyalty programs of the major banks, by absorbing the costs," Tyro spokesman Mr Jost Stollman said in a statement.

However, according to a report by The Age, shoppers should be wary of companies that are already trying to dodge the bullet and seeking other ways to pass on the surcharge under another name such as 'service fee'.

While excessive surcharges on credit cards have recently come to light, many Aussies may not realise how many hundreds of dollars they could be losing on excessive interest rates on their credit card. A quick credit card comparison can often return results with significant difference in cost and benefits to the user.

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