The time for simply paying for something with your credit card because it’s convenient may be coming to an end. Many major retailers are considering adding the fees they pay to the credit card company to your bill. The fees the retailers have paid in the past comprised up to 3% of the purchase price.
Formerly, the retailers simply jacked up the price by the same amount, thus rolling the added fees into the purchase price. But now that the major credit card companies and many of the major banks have settled a lawsuit in which they were accused of fixing “swipe fees,” retailers are free to charge the customers a surcharge.
Retailers are also encouraging customers to pay in cash, and some are even offering discounts for purchases made in cash. A website exists that tracks businesses that offer “discounts with cash” by zip code.
The shift to a cash economy from a credit one may be a good thing for consumers, as it will force them to only buy what they can afford, and it certainly will help retailers; it’s a lot easier to hide cash from the government than a credit card statement. But experts warn that consumers should think twice about paying with cash; they say it’s better to use a credit card in case the product is defective or advertised incorrectly.