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Consumers Experiencing Credit Card Fee Fatigue

Half of Americans say they will not use their credit card if they have to pay a fee, according to a WalletHub survey.
credit card_paying with credit car

NATIONAL REPORT — In light of rising credit card swipe fees rising, WalletHub recently released its survey on consumer perceptions and responses regarding these processing fees.

The survey found a certain level of fatigue among consumers, with the combination of fees from both in-store and app-based orders leaving 85% of respondents believing they are being nickel-and-dimed when they are asked to pay an extra fee to process a credit card payment. This sentiment comes as processing fees for Visa and Mastercard topped out at more than $100 billion in 2023.

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Other findings from the survey include:

  • 79% of Americans have been charged a fee for paying with a credit card.
  • Half of Americans say they will not use their credit card if they have to pay a fee.
  • 48% of people feel that merchants are not transparent when charging fees for credit card transactions.
  • Nine in 10 Americans believe processing fees have gotten out of hand.
  • 59% believe it's unfair when merchants pass their fee costs onto customers.

For retailers, swipe fees have remained a sticking point as well, with many objecting to the perceived hold Visa and Mastercard have over processing fees. Industry associations like the Merchants Payments Coalition have lobbied for reform, including the passage of the Credit Card Competition Act, which would force Visa and Mastercard to compete with additional payment networks. 

Currently, the two companies control approximately 80% of the market and centrally price fix swipe fees charged by banks that issue cards under their brands. Visa and Mastercard also restrict processing to their own networks even though most competing networks charge lower fees and, according to the Federal Reserve, have less fraud.

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