Ban on credit and debit card surcharges comes into effect TODAY

New ban on “rip-off” charges for card payments comes into force

Ban on 'rip-off' card surcharges to take effect

From today, Saturday 13 January, card surcharges will be banned across the United Kingdom both online and in stores, with companies unable to charge individuals more for paying by credit or debit card than other forms of payment.

Companies will still able to add a surcharge if you choose to pay by cash or cheque.

Companies are no longer allowed to charge a fee to customers choosing to pay with credit or debit cards.

However the ban comes amid concerns that consumers may see the cost of goods and services creep up, or additional fees added by retailers, as a result of the changes.

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"Already there is evidence of some companies replacing the card surcharge with a "service charge".

If you notice any businesses not complying with the ban on credit and debit card surcharges you should report this to Trading Standards Service via Consumerline: 0300 123 6262.

They are also levied by some councils and government agencies, such as the DVLA. They usually say the fee is to cover the cost of processing a card payment.

It is estimated that surcharging cost Britons £166 million in 2015.

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John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: "It's completely unfair for someone to be hit by a hidden fee just before they are about to make a purchase, so by scrapping these rip-off charges we are helping to give power back to the consumer".

Consumer groups said the Government needed to monitor the ban to make sure it was having "the positive impact for consumers originally intended". However, people will be wary if it results in price increases, minimum spend limits or even cards being refused by retailers.

But Helen Saxon, from MoneySavingExpert.com, warned: "It may be that we see the amount that used to be charged in credit card fees popping".

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