So here's something you should probably know if you shop online. Retailers in the US can charge up to 4 per cent extra on purchases made using a credit card.
The actual fee will vary, as it's pinned to the cost of how much it costs the retailer to accept the card. That's typically 1.5 to 3 per cent, but it can go higher. The new fee came into effect on January 27, and it stems from an antitrust suit filed by merchants in the US who were being strong-armed by credit card companies — companies found to be conspiring to fix the fees merchants pay to process credit card payments. So, really, this is just merchants passing the cost on to you, which is sort of questionable (accepting credit cards brings more business, etc) but understandable.
You will be notified by the retailer if the new charge is applied to your order, so you can tap-dance around it if you feel the need. But the easier method, at least online, is probably to just use PayPal. [Reuters]
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