Credit and debit card charges can be a sting in the tail. The reason a credit card charge is put on an item is usually because businesses have to pay the bank when a customer uses a card.
However, this weekend the law is changing and it will be illegal for companies to charge anyone for using a credit or debit card to make a payment.
The Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will make it illegal, from 13 January 2018, for any business to charge extra for using a debit or credit card in the EU.
This will mean the charges many of us see on takeaway apps and concert tickets will vanish.
The new rules are reportedly being put into UK law, thus not being affected by Brexit.
Gareth Shaw, Which? Money Expert said: “This ban should finally stop consumers being penalised simply for using their card. However, people will be wary if it results in price increases, minimum spend limits or even cards being refused by retailers.
“The Government and regulator need to closely monitor the effectiveness of the ban – and the fees banks charge retailers for card payments – to ensure that it has the positive impact for consumers originally intended.”
From this Saturday, there will be no charge for paying by debit or credit card, including American Express and linked ways of paying such as PayPal or Apple Pay.
Local councils, HMRC and the DVLA will all have to change their payment policies.
The biggest savings will be found on expensive purchases, such as flights or holidays.
Stephen Barclay, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain and that’s why card charging in Britain is about to come to an end.
“This is about fairness and transparency, and so from next year there will be no more nasty surprises for people at the check-out just for using a card.
“These small charges can really add up and this change will mean shoppers across the country have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them.”
To safe proof your holiday 2018, booking with a credit card is the safest option.