Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you whip out that plastic — new rules went into effect last week that allow stores to charge customers for using their credit cards. These fees, ranging from 1.5 to 4%, could certainly add up. A 4% fee on a family of four’s average grocery bill, for instance, adds up to a whopping $500 extra per year.
So what’s this fee all about? Well, each time you swipe your credit card, the merchant must pay a percentage to the credit card issuers like Visa and Mastercard. Last year, an antitrust settlement between merchants and credit card issuers gave merchants the option to forward that fee onto the consumer.
As terrible as this all sounds, though, there are ways to avoid paying these fees. Check out the next page for tips.