Watch for credit card charge, shoppers told
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4:00 AM Wednesday Jan 13, 2010

Retailers surcharging customers for using credit cards were yesterday put on notice by the Commerce Commission, while consumer groups are advising people to check charges and shop around now that retailers are allowed to pass on credit card charges.

Last year the Commerce Commission reached a settlement with financial institutions that it hoped would lead to more transparent and lower charges for the use of credit cards. One aspect of the deal was that retailers are allowed to pass on credit card charges.

Independently owned BP stations are charging 60c extra for every transaction by credit card under $30 and 90c for every transaction over $30.

New Zealand Retailers' Association chief executive John Albertson said taxis have charged a $2 flat fee for some time on credit card transactions. He is aware that florists and also government departments are surcharging customers for using credit cards.

One view is retailers are putting pressure on credit card companies to lower merchant service charges by surcharging, but consumers are asking if the surcharges reflect the cost to retailers.

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