‘Rip-off’ charges for paying by card to be banned

Lucy Purdy

Credit and debit card fees that are added to payments for goods and services will be axed from January, the government has announced

The Treasury has pledged that all charges added to card payments for goods and services will be axed from January 2018, ending a “rip-off” that costs Britons hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

A Treasury spokesman said the move, which builds on an EU directive, would mean “shoppers across the country have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them”.

However, many have predicted that companies will simply inflate their prices to make up for the loss.

Government departments and official bodies will be among those forced to get rid of their fees, including the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency which adds a flat fee of £2.50 to vehicle tax payments by credit card.

HM Revenue & Customs likewise currently charges a fee for paying a tax bill by credit card, but will no longer be able to do this from 13 January.

These new rules will finally put an end to this unfair practice

The consumer group Which? said the ending of surcharging was “long overdue”. A spokesperson added: “Previous action to protect consumers from excessive card surcharges has been difficult to enforce, leaving consumers paying over the odds just for paying by card. These new rules will finally put an end to this unfair practice.”

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