Shoppers in Illinois could avoid paying extra for using a credit card under a measure before the General Assembly. So far, ten states have already banned businesses from charging shoppers fees on credit card purchases. Representative Barbara Wheeler, a Republican from Crystal Lake, wants Illinois to do the same. She says in a weak economy, families shouldn’t be burdened by extra fees, and that a surcharge could hurt business owners when they go shopping:
"They are consumers. They buy things, whether it's personally or for their own business through the credit card, and sometimes online. This will be an additional charge to them as well; this will become more expensive to those business owners."
The head of the state association that represents retailers says Wheeler need not worry. He says most shops are not planning to add the credit card fee.
But consumer advocacy groups worry that stores are biding their time now, and they'll add the charge later. A federal antitrust settlement this summer means merchants are now allowed to charge customers extra for using a credit card. They were previously only allowed to give discounts to shoppers who didn't pay with credit.
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