New credit card fee looming this month

Consumers could be hit with a new credit card fee later this month.

The “checkout fee” would be up to 3 percent of the purchase, and would help businesses cover the fees they pay to accept credit cards.

“It has really been a burden,” said Liz McQuaid, owner of What If Cafe in Harrisburg.

McQuaid has been running What If Cafe for 17 years and has accepted credit cards since day one.

“For the machine, you pay $600 to $2,000 dollars. Every time you swipe a card there is a fee. Ours is 17 cents a card. On top of that fee, there is a percentage of sale,” McQuaid said.

Donna Ulrich owns Hello Gorgeous Consignment Boutique in Camp Hill and says about 60 percent of her customers pay with credit cards.

“This past year we paid about $7,500 in credit card fees,” Ulrich said.

Business owners can start charging the checkout fee later this month. They must tell customers about the fee and list it on the receipt.

McQuaid says some business owners may think of more creative ways to avoid the credit card fees.

“I think possibly they might give a discount for cash,” she said.

“As a consumer, I wouldn't want to pay it. I would assume that it should be on the bank or the merchant. I look at it as a cost of doing business,” Ulrich said.

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