Hidden Surcharges On Credit Cards: Facts And Figures
Payment surcharges - extra fees added to the price of a purchase based on a consumers' choice of payment - have become increasingly widespread.
The Office of Fair Trading investigated surcharges earlier this year and came up with the following facts and statistics while conducting its research:
- Payment surcharges are any charges which vary depending on the payment mechanism the consumer chooses to use or are added to the total price when a consumer selects which payment mechanism they intend to use.
- The OFT estimates that, in 2010, UK consumers spent around £300 million on payment surcharges in the airline sector alone;
- 87% of consumers object to extra charges for credit cards and 91% object to extra charges for debit cards.
- 78% of consumers buying flights only became aware there were going to be price rises - including other additional charges such as baggage fees - during the purchasing process.
- On average consumers in the passenger transport markets - airlines, ferries and rail - have to go through four to six web pages before the payment surcharge is added to the total price.
- 62% of the UK adult population own a credit card, whereas over 85% own a debit card. Only 11% own a Visa Electron card, and less than 5% own a pre-paid Mastercard. Using these two cards frequently comes without a charge, but not always.
- Debit, credit, charge and prepaid cards were used to make more than eight billion purchases worth £396 billion in the UK in 2009. Debit cards were used to make 67% of purchases by value.
- 1% of UK consumers own a credit card but not a debit card.