Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com offers some times for beating these surcharges at the register:
* ASK ABOUT ANY CREDIT/DEBIT CARD SURCHARGES BEFORE THE TRANSACTION.
* RETAILERS MUST DISCLOSE ANY SURCHARGES BEFORE THE TRANSACTION.
* IF THERE IS A SURCHARGE, DECLINE IT AND REQUEST ANOTHER METHOD OF PAYMENT. If necessary, cancel the transaction and shop somewhere else.
* REVIEW YOUR RECEIPT. Even if you end up using cash, a check or your debit card, review the receipt to make sure the store didn't levy a surcharge. There should never be a surcharge on a cash purchase.
Click on the graphic to view how surcharges appear on sale receipts.
In addition, Consumer Report’s website has an online guide warning credit card hunters shopping around for the best credit card deals about what to look for in order to avoid being nickled-and-dimed by credit card issuing banks.
You should know that there are 10 states which by law prohibit retailers from charging checkout fees. They are:
If you find that you are either being charged in one of these states, or being charged excessively (relatively speaking), Visa offers an online reporting site where you can submit your complaints. Additionally, consumers who are subjected to checkout fees in states where they are protected by law may report the retailer to their state attorney general's office.
When it comes to spending money, the first rule of thumb is to remember the advice our mothers gave us; always check your receipts!