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What is surcharging?

A Card surcharge is a fee that a business adds to the amount of a purchase when a customer uses a credit, charge or debit Card. It’s something that most Card Members have experienced and dislike a lot. We’ve created this page to answer your questions about surcharging and clear the air about some of the common surcharging myths.

Source: RDG Insights Payment Surcharges Report, February 2015

What does American Express think of surcharging?

American Express strongly opposes surcharging. We’re working hard to educate businesses about the damage surcharging causes to customer satisfaction and loyalty, so the decision not to surcharge is an easy one. Consumers hate it and businesses are making a choice to pass it on. The good news is that most businesses don’t surcharge; respecting how their customers choose to pay.

What are the facts about surcharging?

Surcharging is not illegal and is a cost that a business decides whether they want to pass on or not. The Australian Government recently announced it will introduce legislation to stamp out “excessive” surcharging to protect consumers from instances where businesses over recoup their costs1.

Yet research shows that consumers dislike all types of surcharging. It also influences where they choose to shop. More than 90% of consumers consider not being surcharged as important to their repeat business2.

1 RBA Review of Card Payments, May 2016
2 RDG Insights Payment Surcharges Report, February 2015

What can we do about surcharging?

The best way to show a business that you don’t like surcharging is to tell them directly, and then take your business elsewhere. If there is a business that specifically surcharges American Express Cards, please let us know about it and we will see what we can do about it.

More about surcharging....

Watch the videos below to find out more about surcharging

Merchant Testimonial Putting the customer first

The Retail Doctor Surcharging leaves an impression

The Retail Doctor How does surcharging impact online shopping?

1 in 4 retail consumers will not return to
a business after they are surcharged

RDG Insights Payment Surcharges Report, February 2015