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Home » News » New York State » New York prohibits credit card surcharges, but allows debit card fees

New York prohibits credit card surcharges, but allows debit card fees

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  • Staff Report 

In New York State, businesses are not allowed to add a surcharge to purchases made with credit cards, as confirmed by the New York State Division of Consumer Protection. This rule prohibits businesses from advertising one price and then adding an extra fee at the point of sale for credit card payments. However, the state does permit businesses to offer discounts for cash payments, a practice often seen at various retail locations.

Although outright surcharges are banned, businesses can legally charge a higher price for credit card purchases, provided they clearly list this higher price. For example, a shoe store might display two prices: one for credit/debit card payments and a lower price for cash transactions. Any form of “flat fee notice” or “percentage fee notice” for using a credit card, however, violates New York law. The Department of State has seen a notable increase in complaints regarding surcharge violations, with 311 complaints registered this year, up from 202 in 2022 and 139 in 2021.

Regarding debit card transactions, New York law allows surcharges or higher fees, but these must be clearly disclosed. Importantly, if a debit card is used as a credit card (without entering a PIN), the transaction is considered a credit card purchase and falls under the no-surcharge rule. Consumers who encounter violations can file complaints with the Department of Consumer Protection or the Attorney General’s Office to seek a return of fees or enforce the law against the violating merchant.