Credit card users could face ‘checkout fee’

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INDIANAPOLIS — A new regulation just went into effect allowing stores and restaurants to charge customers who use plastic a checkout fee. Not many stores are passing the fee along to customers yet, but experts say that could change.

Even the idea of a checkout fee is certain to generate a certain emotion from customers.

“I’m really irritated by the whole thing,” said Julie Kleiman of Indianapolis. “Especially since the taxes have gone up. You know the economy is in a crunch now anyway. I don’t see how this is going to help anybody.”

Checkout fees are now possible because of a settlement with credit card companies that gave retailers the ability to pass on credit card processing fees to customers. The fees typically range from 1.5 to 3 percent.

“We’re always evaluating our credit card expenses,” said Sam Carpenter, Executive Director of Global Gifts in Indianapolis. “You know, trying to negotiate those down, whatever we can do to do that.”

But even though retailers like Global Gifts spend a lot on processing fees, don’t look for them to pass them on to you any time soon. Customers here use credit cards about 85 percent of the time and they don’t want to scare off that business.

“It’s a quick and easy decision for Global Gifts that we would not do something like that,” Carpenter said.

Fox59 News found that retailers throughout Indianapolis said the same thing. Checkout fees don’t make sense in the short-term.

Businesses that do decide to charge the checkout fee are required to post a notice either on the door or in the store. The charge is also required to be posted on each receipt, so you can see it for yourself.

“I think businesses will be slow to react to this because they don’t want to be the first one to look cheap,” said financial expert Peter Dunn, also known as Pete the Planner.

According to the National Retail Federation the checkout fees won’t be implemented by major national stores either, but Dunn says all it takes is a few businesses to start.

“I would look for restaurants and very small gift shops to start,” Dunn said. “I think once it happens there potentially you could see like a chain restaurant react or national business.”

As a Fair Trade store Sam says the charge doesn’t fit with Global Gifts’ philosophy.

“We like to be fair to our customers all up and down the line, from the artisan to the customer,” Carpenter said.

If that thinking changes at Global Gifts or any other stores, Kleiman said her habits will likely change too.

“Just look for another way to cut back,” she said. “If there is a another way to cut back.”

If business do begin charging the fees, customers can avoid them by paying with cash or debit card.

12 comments

  • RWL

    If shops and restruants start charging for credit card use then I'll just start staying home and doing my eating and drinking at home, and to hell with supporting the economy. And if most people do that we will see how long it last. If you want to pay these extra fees then just roll over an d give it to then.

  • sweetana3

    I use a credit card for convenience, tracking of expenses, and safety. I would boycott any business that charges that fee. So unless everyone does it (doubtful), the ones that do will lose customers. No one in this business climate wants unhappy customers or they wont be in business very long. Plus, they have already increased prices to account for normal business expenses like credit card fees.

    Now if they offer a discount for cash, I am more likely to pay cash.

  • wayne

    They get that fee already by charging higher prices to cover that. If you find a store or a vendor doing that dont go there they are trying to over charge you.

  • RichardK06

    MORE FEES!! FEES are politicians way of saying we are not RAISING TAXES! FEES
    TAXES, what's the difference. Why cant the GOVERMENT STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY!
    The last time I checked, the goverment is not selling or making a product, just keeps coming to US and takeing our money.

  • Laura Ward

    The stores and restaurants that do that will lose a lot of customers. The majority of people pay with credit cards, as not many people carry cash with them. Not surprised about this, anything to rip people off…

  • cjmo

    People could try using cash instead, but that would probably confuse the cashiers, what with having to figure out how to make change. Try going someplace & give the cashier 20.04 for a 12.89 purchase & stand back & watch the funny look on the cashier's face! "Duh…. what am I supposed to do with this?" "Well, for starters, you could give me my change! To make things easy for you, that would be 7.15!" SMH!

  • rob

    It is expensive to run a business, and we have to pay to allow customers to use credit cards. We make less because people pay with a credit card. If we charge an extra 2% to your bill because you are using a credit card, that would cut our merchant bill about in half. It would cost a person spending $30 an extra 60 cents. I understand that there is a cost to doing business, but believe me we are getting taxed more and more and our costs go up and up all the time. I am not sure if we will add the fee or not, but believe me it would be because we are greedy and want to buy our next mansion. It would seriously help to lower our expenses.

  • checks by phone

    IT brings our life more easy and comfortable. By using of IT technology our communication system has been changed with significantly. Using of credit card is one of the products of IT. It is too much beneficial too all.

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