Detailed answer to the question: How much can I surcharge a client for runnign a credit card sale in my business?

As you may know the recent Visa/Mastercard lawsuit settlement allows business owners to surcharge card holders when they run a credit card transaction in their store. Details are below:

1. The merchants surcharges cannot exceed a certain level.

A. The percentage must be the same for all cards (ie: rewards, Signature, signature preferred, etc)

B. The surcharge can be no greater than the average discount rate paid by the merhcant over the past 12 months.

C. The total charge cannot exceed 4%. (Even if the merchants average discount rate is higher than 4%)

2. The merchant must notify both Visa and Mastercard at least 30 days prior to starting to surcharge clients.

3. the merchant must clearly disclose the surcharge to the cardholder in the following places:

A. At the point of entry to either their storefront or website.

B. At the point of interaction. (Where they run the card)

C. On the merchants receipt.

We can see that some businesses will see a benefit from being able to pass their fees on to their customers. ( Think car dealers - they no longer have to worry about customers putting huge deposits on their credit cards and eating into profits.) The question still remains though, will any recouped cost of doing business offset the loss of good will that this surcharge will surely create?