New rules which will come into effect on 13 January 2018 will mean you cannot be penalised for choosing to pay by card, either online or in-store.
Under the current rules, which came into force in 2013, companies should only charge you what it costs them to process a debit or credit card payment – they shouldn’t make a profit on these surcharges.
But consumers can still face hefty charges, with fees typically around 2% and on some smaller transactions accounting for as much as 20% of the bill.
The new rules, which will be laid down in law, will mean ALL surcharges are banned. So there will be no charges for paying by debit or credit card, including American Express and linked ways of paying such as PayPal or Apple Pay.
The rules will apply to any UK company which is selling to UK consumers. We’ve asked the Treasury for a full definition of what it considers to be a UK company, and whether it could apply to a company that is not registered in the UK but does have a physical UK base. We’ll update this story when we know more.
It’s worth noting the new rules won’t just apply to the UK. As this law is following an EU directive, companies across the EU will also be banned from charging these extra fees.