Credit card surcharges 'unfairly high'

By Mozo ·

Aussie consumers are being hit with larger surcharges than necessary on credit card purchases, new figures indicate.

Banking researcher East & Partner conducted a survey of merchants and found that the average extra amount paid by those with credit cards is 2.55 per cent.

In the retail sector, buyers using this form of payment had to add an average of 2.34 per cent extra to their bill in the year leading up to December 2010.

While this was a drop of 0.06 percentage points compared with the previous 12-month period, the researcher noted that the average merchant fee service charge for Bankcard, MasterCard and Visa is 0.81 per cent.

The figures revealed that credit cards account for 22 per cent of the overall annual receivables among merchants.

People who regularly use this form of payment might consider trying to compare credit cards online to minimise the cost incurred on their plastic.

In good news for those with credit cards, the government recently announced plans to stop banks forcing users to pay charges when they go over their limits.

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