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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Credit card payments costing you more?

Extra charges associated with credit card charges increase costs
Extra credit card charges raise total costs
By Andrew Reilly

There are few more annoying things in life like surcharges or hidden charges that only pop at the end of the buying process. If you are faced with these charges up front, you can make your own mind up about whether you want to pay it or not. However, when you work your way through all of the stages and then find a new charge just as you are about to click the Buy Now button, many people will feel aggrieved.

The situation may not be as bad now as it was a few years ago, but this is only because most consumers are aware of these additional charges and can think ahead. It hasn’t improved because of good work by credit card companies or businesses, so as per usual, it is the consumer that ends up losing out or paying more. This is the sort of charge or additional fee that most people will moan about but in the end, a lot of people won’t do anything. They’ll shrug their shoulders, they’ll promise to moan on social media but they click and pay the additional fee with a minimum of fuss and effort. This is why things don’t change because people are all too happy just to accept what goes on.

You can see why many people will pay for flights with a credit card. This may be a cost that you need to take care of quickly and if you don’t have enough in your standard bank account, it can be good to snap up the best prices, or the only flights, when you have the chance.

There is also the fact that many people booking flights may be doing so for work or on behalf of a group of friends. This can see them paying a larger amount of money which means that they need some form of credit option to be able to afford all of the seats in one go. There is also the fact that many people appreciate the convenience that comes from using a credit card when making this style of purchase.

A stand is being taken against credit card charges

However, there are some people who are willing to take a stand against these charges and one consumer group, Fairer Finance, FF, is railing against airlines charging too much for consumers paying with a credit card. The organisation has named airlines such as Ryanair, Monarch and Flybe and stated that they may actually be in breach of rules and regulations. This is because airlines are only allowed to provide charges that are a reflection of genuine costs.

Monarch and Flybe have been named as the biggest offenders, charging 3% on top of bookings. The same organisation has also rallied against a number of local authorities, saying that they charge too much money when looking for people to pay by credit card.

This is an issue that could be taken up by Trading Standards teams and there has been a call for this agency to do more in working against these firms. Flybe and Monarch not only both have a 3% surcharge, they charge a minimum £5 for surcharges. If you have a bill come to £500 you’ll find that you end up paying an additional £15 when you pay by credit card.

Be sure you know what the final charge is

Ryanair and Flight Centre both have a 2% surcharge on their credit card charges. Passengers who are able to pay by PayPal don’t have to pay any surcharge, and it is the inconsistency that many people are annoyed with. If there was a flat surcharge fee, there would likely be an acceptance but the fact that many people don’t know the total cost until they know what payment system they are going to use is a bit annoying.

This is an area of consumer finance that has long been an issue for many people but unless more pressure is placed on these companies, it is unlikely to change too much. This is why the work of Fairer Finance is of interest to many consumers and if you are looking to make the most of your finances, be sure that you choose the most effective option when making a payment.

Sometimes paying by credit card is convenient but it could cost you more money in the long run.

About the author: Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn't sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.

Image: 401(k) 2012/Flickr; CC BY-SA 2.0