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What is a surcharge?

A surcharge is an additional fee added to the total of the items the consumer is purchasing to cover the cost of the credit card transaction, this is also known as a “Checkout Fee.”

What do I need to do in order to surcharge?

Register with Visa, MasterCard & Discover

    Notify your processor and make sure they allow surcharging

    Know the surcharging rules

    Know if your State allows for surcharging

Do I need to register with American Express to surcharge?

No. American Express does not require a registration form.

Can I surcharge a debit or a pre-paid card?

No. Credit Cards are the only cards that can be surcharged.

Can I surcharge a debit card if I run it as a credit card?

No. A debit run as a “credit” is still a debit card.

Can I accept Debit if I surcharge?

Yes. If you want to accept debit cards then the standard rules for processing apply, the merchant will cover the cost of a debit card transaction, which carry the lowest transactions fees in the Interchange table.  

Is there a limit to how much I can surcharge?

Yes. Your surcharge cannot exceed your cost of acceptance or 4%.

Do I have to tell my customers I am surcharging?

Yes, if you are surcharging you have to tell your customers before you complete the sale. You also    have to have signs up and disclose the surcharge clearly on the receipt.

Can anyone in the U.S. surcharge?

No. There are currently 6 states that prohibit surcharging. Non-surcharging states are Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma.

What if the customer is from a non-surcharging state?

Surcharging rules are controlled by the state in which the business is located. If the state allows surcharging, the merchant can surcharge regardless of if the consumer is from a non-surcharging state.

Is a "Surcharge" or "Checkout Fee" the same as a "Convenience Fee"?

No. A Convenience Fee is a fee that is added to your bill for the convenience of paying in a way that is not standard for the merchant. Movie theaters for example, generally sell tickets face-to-face at the theater but if you purchase your tickets online there may be an additional Convenience Fee.