Credit card users might see a surcharge fee

The next time you swipe your credit card, your wallet could be in for a big hit.

The next time you swipe your credit card, your wallet could be in for a big hit.

As of Sunday January 27, retailers who accept Visa and MasterCards can begin adding a fee to your tab.

How much? Up to 4 percent!

This new checkout fee stems from a lawsuit settlement involving the retail industry and credit card giants. Retail corporations filed the suit to bring down swiping fees.

Steven Sorhus, an accountant with SouthHouse in Kirksville tells us, "Merchants have already been charging a fee for taking credit cards, but because of a settlement, they can now impose that charge, and charge that right to the consumer."

Sorhus said most people find it convenient using a credit card, and the ability to earn miles and other rewards make it not such a big deal.

According to the National Retail Federation, the intent was not to pass the fee onto customers.

"Whenever a merchant takes a credit card, it costs them money. Every transaction costs them money. Now they can either choose to eat that cost, a lot of them will."

So here's the breakdown--say you buy a 32-inch flat screen TV for $200 dollars, well retailers can charge you an extra 8 bucks just for using your credit card instead of paying cash.

Sorhus tell us to avoid the fee is simple. "They can pay with cash, their debit cards, write a check. It's only credit card purchases. So they can avoid this entirely if they choose to not use their card."

The fee applies in 40 states including Missouri and Iowa, but if retailers choose to make you pay they must let you know about the fee, before you check out.