Credit card fees hit consumers


credit card, costs, cut
Australian consumers have been hit with $800 million in credit card surcharges over the past 12 months, according to new data by MasterCard.

According to the figures, the average Australian household paid on average $100 in excessive surcharges in the last twelve months.

The figures are based on the estimated value of total credit and debit card transactions that are surcharged in Australia, with special reference to the high surcharging merchant categories of airlines, taxis, major hotels, and utilities.

MasterCard Australia, country manager, Andrew Cartwright, says Australian consumers are aware of what’s going on, and it’s time to address unfair and excessive surcharging.

“Changes made one year ago to regulations have not worked and it’s time the government made enforcement a priority. Stamping out overcharging is about giving Australians a fair go,” Cartwright said.

“Putting families out of pocket by $100 annually is unacceptable. That’s about 20 school lunches, a tank of petrol for the car or a monthly phone bill. It’s time to put a halt to the practice”.

Additional MasterCard research shows 59 per cent of Australians paid a surcharge on a credit card purchase in the last year, while 72 per cent believe some businesses are exploiting the system and surcharging unfairly.

Thirty six per cent of Australians surveyed identified airlines as the worst offenders when it comes to surcharging, followed closely by taxis and restaurants which were also found to be serial offenders.

While Australians continue to suffer surcharges on goods and services, only 26 per cent of consumers take the time to ask businesses to explain why they are being charged excessive fees.

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