'Excessive' credit and debit card fees to be banned

23 December 2011

creditcard1 The government have delivered a bit of a Christmas present to the nation, with the news that ‘excessive’ fees for using a debit or credit card to buy items like travel, cinema or concert tickets will be banned by the end of 2012.

The charges won’t disappear altogether and companies will still be able to impose a ‘small charge’ that will cover payment processing, and the new rules follow an report published by the Office of Fair Trading which came on the back of a noisy complaint from our good friends at Which!

Regardless of the government’s plans, a European rule is scheduled to be introduced in mid-2014, stating that only the actual cost of processing card payments could be charged to consumers.

If we were a cynical bunch here at Bitterwallet, we’d suggest that with the removal of booking fees, the face value of travel, cinema and concert tickets will sneakily increase one the new rules have been implemented. But we’re not. Oh hang on, WE ARE.

TOPICS:   Government   Consumer Advice   Credit Cards   Economy   Banking


  • PlatinumPlatypus
    Companies already call these 'booking fees' or 'administration fees' instead of a card charge. I don't think much will change at all, except for the worst offenders.
  • anewman
    The same should happen with cash machine withdrawal charges. I mean £1.75 to withdraw a tenner in many places, disgusting.
  • Mike H.
    Companies can charge what the fuck they like, it's up to us to decide whether we pay it or not. If the price had 2% increase but you weren't told what it was you'd pay it without question so stop whining when they tell you up-front, numpties.
  • Idi A.
    I suggest that every shop is issued with photos of the directors of the credit card companies, airlines, banks and insurance companies. Then every time they buy something, no matter if it’s just a newspaper, packet of polos, or tube of KY, they are charged an additional £3.50 admin fee. Would any of them would see the joke? Or would they just be as rightly pissed off as their customers?
  • bittertraveller
    If in the future the fee for using plastic is "sneakily" absorbed into the price, at least you know that on page 1 of the booking. It makes comparison shopping much easier.
  • james D.
    I wonder how this will affect small shops. My local spar likes to charge me 75p for paying with a card if its less than a fiver. Will they now just stop letting me pay at all if its less than a fiver?
  • Getalife
    What are you doing paying by card for less than a fiver? Get a move on loser, there's people waiting in the queue you twonk.
  • james D.
    Get with the times getalife, it takes me about 10 seconds to pay with chip and pin, much faster that your average queue user searching the depths of their pockets/bags for change. I don't usually carry cash I pay for almost everything with my debit card.
  • Elizabeth S.
    You bunch of commoners, I don't carry money or a card. And I have a huge house paid for by benefits.
  • Hugh R.
    James I would agree with getalife, cash takes half the time. Shops probably charge 75p to deter plonkers like you using cards for small transactions.
  • Phil76
    Re the time taken for payments, it all depends if you spend the time queing actually getting the cash ready, or whether you wait until you get to the till before you start rummaging for shrapnel
  • james D.
    How does it take longer than cash? You put your card in a slot and type in a number, maybe you still sign for your transactions and wait for a dial up modem? Cash has to be counted, passed to a cashier, they have to count it and count out change. Then you have to check it and put it back in your pocket. Usually waiting by the till to put things into your pocket Just because you have grown up believing cards are for big purchases doesn't mean the world should stay that way. Besides we have contactless payment popping up in more places and that is way faster than cash.
  • bittertraveller
    Have to agree with James Dewitt that _sometimes_ a card is quicker. Once contactless is the norm it will be so much quicker than using coins.

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