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New law adds fees to credit card purchases

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Updated: 1/28/2013 4:53 pm
(NBC News) A new law went into effect this weekend that could mean you will pay more for the convenience of using a credit card when you shop.

They are sometimes called "checkout fees".

But you may want to pay a little more attention as you pull out the plastic the next time you swipe that card retailers may be swiping a little more of your money.

A new law now allows merchants to pass along to consumers the fees they pay banks to process credit card sales.

"That means if you're using a credit card to spend $10, say, they might impose an extra quarter, 50 cents, or even more as long as it's proportional to what that merchant pays in interchange fees or check out fees," said Joe Ridout, Consumer Action.

Ten states already have laws that ban merchant surcharges, and most major chains have said they won't take advantage of the new option.

Any retailer that may look to recoup the surcharges will be required to post signs in their shops.

Because shoppers ultimately still hold the "high card" when it comes to where and how they spend their money.

-- Jay Gray, NBC News
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