Looking To Cut Costs?
Posted on April 7, 2021

“What a way to end a day by turnin’ out the light. Shoot the moon right between the eyes. I’m sending most of me to the countryside.” -John Prine


As COVID-19 continues, most businesses are looking for ways to cut costs. Do you accept credit cards? If so, you should consider surcharging.


In South Carolina, surcharging is legal. However, you have to follow some basic guidelines. The card assocations do not want you discouraging customers from paying with their particular card over other brands. Note that this does not apply to debit cards. You have to find out if the card is debit or credit.


Fortunately, the gudielines for the networks are mostly the same:

1) You must notify the card association and your merchant services provider of your intent, in writing, at least 30 days in advance. Amex does not require you do this.


2) Surcharge amounts are limitied to your effetive rate for credit card transactioins, capped at 4%. You can only recoup your costs.


3) You must post appropriate notice inside your store, both at the entrance and at the point of sale. I easily Googled a sign that Visa provides for businesses.

4) You need to include the surcharge amount on the receipt as a separate line item. The surcharge also needs to be included in the network authorization request and settlement. Amex is an exception to this.


5) For Visa and Mastercard, you can choose to charge brand-level surcharges or product-level surcharges. You cannot do both.

6) If you operate in multiple states, you are able to surcharge only in those states that allow it. As of early 2021, four states and one US territory don’t allow credit card surcharges. They are Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Peurto Rico.


There is a loophole (for now) with surcharging…you can create a “cash price” vs a “credit card price”. It’s kind of like backwards surcharging but not considered surcharging.

Surcharging can help your business save money! Just make sure you know how to properly execute this.

#knowyourbusiness #ildertonbookkeepingllc #surcharging #creditcardfees #cutcosts #creditcards #lowerexpenses #johnprine