First Person: I Refuse to Pay a Surcharge to Use My Credit Card

Yahoo Contributor Network

I will admit that I use my credit cards more often than I should. In a recent article published on CNNMoney, it shows that according to a recent court settlement, retail stores are now able to charge the consumer between 1% and 4% as a surcharge each time you use your credit card. If this happens, I will definitely quit using the card as much as I do. This is how much the increase would cost me, and why I am not willing to do it.

How much the increase would cost me

With the way our finances are now, I am shopping a little more than average. In a month I put around $150 on my credit cards combined. They are both major credit cards, so I just divide up my purchases between them. If I did two purchases of $75 a piece, I could be charged at max $3 a purchase. While that may not seem terrible, it is still $6 extra a month I am paying on top of everything else. Overall my yearly increase would be $72.

Why I am not willing to give in

While the total of $72 a year is not a lot, it is more than I am willing to "waste". One of the major reasons I pull them out is to keep a revolving credit balance so that when the company reports to the credit bureaus, I will have a decent credit score. It is important for my future opportunities, especially in this economy. Instead of purchasing multiple times a month with my cards, I will only use it as a very last resort. Nothing has changed to warrant the new fees, and I refuse to give the stores more money because I used a credit card versus paying in cash.

Other options

I have been leaving a little balance on my credit cards each month, and paying it off with the cash I would have spent when making the purchase. Instead of doing things this way, I will simply switch to using cash only. Also, the article states that 19 states are trying to impose laws against the added fees, and Illinois is one of them. If they pass the law, nothing will change. Until things are worked out, it will be cash only for me.

While this settlement may not come to pass at all in my state, it is still worrisome. If I increase my spending, the yearly estimate will go up. For now I will stick to paying with cash and only use my credit cards as a last resort until this issue is sorted.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

More from this contributor

First Person: My Financial 'Golden Rules'

First Person: We Will Never Get Another Refund Anticipation Loan

First Person: Cutting Out Fast Food for One Month Saved Us $75


View Comments (2)