Everyone loves collecting points, but if you’re looking to save money, you may want to keep your credit card use to a minimum. A new credit card surcharge has been approved in Canada which allows businesses to tack on an additional fee to your purchase.
The new surcharge came into effect nationwide this month, except for in Quebec because of its consumer protection laws.
Small businesses now have the option to add a surcharge to offset the processing fees that are paid to credit card companies for every transaction.
This decision is the result of a long-running class-action lawsuit launched by Canadian businesses against VISA and MasterCard.
Unlike before, businesses are now allowed to charge customers for the fees instead of paying for it themselves, reports CBC News.
However, as part of the settlement, businesses can only surcharge a maximum of 2.4% per purchase.
According to CBC, the average surcharge is 1.4% in Canada, but the charge will vary depending on the type of card you have and the rewards you collect.
In a recent survey, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) found that nearly one in five small businesses in Canada plans to use the new surcharge, and an additional 26% said they will do it if their competitors do.
But, there are some requirements that businesses must meet before they can do so.
For example, businesses are required to submit their intention to surcharge in a written notice ahead of time.
They also cannot apply a surcharge that is higher than 2.4%, higher than the cost to accept the credit card, or in addition to a service or convenience fee.
You will also know about surcharges well ahead of time, as businesses must display a notice at every point of sale in-store and online, at the entrance, and on every receipt.
And don’t worry, you can still use your debit card without incurring any charges, according to CBC.