Florida Consumers Not Affected by New Credit Card Fees - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Florida Consumers Not Affected by New Credit Card Fees

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Paper or plastic? That's always been the big question. However, the next time you use plastic, the bigger question might be debit or credit?

Merchants can now pass on credit card processing costs to their customers through a surcharge. However, when you do swipe your card here in Florida, you shouldn't see any additional costs.

There are some requirements. Merchants will have to register with Visa and MasterCard, the checkout equipment has to print out a receipt showing how much the surcharge is, and a notice must be posted in the store or online. It doesn't apply to debit transactions.

There is some good news for shoppers in Florida.

"Florida has stepped up and passed law, a statute that says merchants cannot charge a surcharge," said Merchant Management Group, LLC President Rodney Friend.

There are some exceptions to Florida's law. Government agencies can charge "convenience" fees.

"A convenience fee is simply that. The way to remember that is it has to be a true convenience," said Friend.

What if a retailer in Florida is charging you a surcharge to use your credit card?

Friend said, "A lot of merchants have been doing minimums. A lot of merchants have been doing surcharging. That's not to be confused with a convenience fee, which is a whole different game. I think, if a consumer runs across a surcharge, then what they should do is contact their issuing bank. On the back of the card, there's always a number for them to call."

Also, the same Florida Statute does allow for cash and check discounts off their original price, as long as they offer the discount to everyone.