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Hy-Vee Addresses Credit Card Surcharge

WEST DES MOINES, IowaHy-Vee Food Stores assured shoppers that it will not charge a fee if they use a credit card.

“You might have heard or read about new rules that allow merchants to charge customers a fee on credit card transactions as a way to recoup some of the costs associated with accepting this method of payment,” the retailer wrote on its Facebook page Monday. “Hy-Vee has no plans at this time to charge fees for using credit cards in our stores.”

Hy-Vee made the statement in response to a policy change implemented Sunday allowing merchants who accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards to add a service charge to the purchase price. In the past, Visa and MasterCard prohibited merchants from charging the fees. The companies changed their position as part of a settlement of an antitrust suit.

“Historically Visa has not permitted retailer surcharging, but allowing surcharging was a key provision required by merchants to settle longstanding litigation brought by a class of retailers in 2005,” according to a statement from Visa.

2013 Top 75: Hy-Vee Ranks No. 26

The surcharge can equal the actual cost of processing the credit card transaction, which is typically 1.5% to 3%. Debit cards are excluded.

While Hy-Vee has publicly addressed its policy, most other retailers also won’t charge the fee, according to published reports.

Meanwhile, credit card surcharges are banned by law in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

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