February 7, 2013

New surcharge on Visa purchases

Armed Forces News Service

Armed Forces News Service


WASHINGTON — As of January 27, merchants in the United States and U.S. Territories are permitted to impose a surcharge on any credit card transaction that uses a MasterCard or Visa branded card, which includes the Government Travel Charge Card, both Individually Billed Accounts (IBAs) and Centrally Billed Accounts (CBAs).

This surcharge is permitted to be charged in all states except California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

While some merchants may elect not to charge this additional fee, those that do are required to notify customers before they make an actual purchase – at the store entrance and at the point of sale – or in an online environment, on the first page that references credit card brands. The surcharge will be included in the total transaction amount and will be listed separately on the sales receipt.

This new surcharge has been authorized reimbursable expense while on official travel. The Joint Federal Travel Regulations (JFTR) and the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) have been updated accordingly, effective 27 January 2013. If a traveler is charged this surcharge, they should add it as a separate expense under the Non-Mileage Expense section of their voucher, ensuring that the additional surcharge is not also included in the total of the related expense.

Additionally, signs must be posted at merchant store fronts disclosing any fee at point-of-sale terminals. These participating merchants must also provide a 30-day notice to the card associations, prior to assessing the surcharge. If a surcharge is assessed by the merchant, it will be included in the transaction amount posted – and the sales receipt will list the surcharge separately.

For additional information about this new surcharge, go to: http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_visa/checkout_fees/index.html


Air Force photograph by Kenji Thuloweit

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