Unless you are lucky enough to live in one of the 10 states that prohibit surcharges on credit card transactions, you may want to pay attention to storefronts and websites, beginning on Sunday, January 27. Thanks to a legal settlement that affects banks, merchants, Visa and MasterCard, merchants will be able to impose surcharges, or "swipe fees," to cover the cost of processing credit card transactions.
Opinions vary on whether merchants will actually take advantage of the new rule. On one hand, adding a surcharge might drive customers away. On the other hand, it's not hard to imagine travel providers imposing a swipe fee; after all, Ryanair charges for everything, and is still flying.
Photo © Jane M. Sawyer