Merchant Surcharge and Registration Information

Visa® and MasterCard will permit U.S. merchants to apply an extra checkout fee, also known as a surcharge, to customers who pay with credit cards. The rule change permitting this surcharging will go into effect on January 27, 2013.

Important Information about Surcharges

  • Surcharging is prohibited on debit cards and prepaid cards
  • The merchant must give 30 days notice to First Citizens, Visa, and MasterCard before implementing the surcharge (Discover does not require advance notice at this time)
  • The surcharge must show as a separate line item on the customer's receipt
  • The maximum that can be charged is the average of the merchant's annual fees, or no more than 4%.

Merchant Surcharge Registration

A merchant may apply a surcharge only if certain disclosure requirements are met. These disclosure requirements include advance notice to Visa, MasterCard and the merchant's acquirer (First Citizens) of the merchant's intention to impose a surcharge. Notice must be given no less than thirty days before the merchant implements surcharges. A merchant can satisfy the disclosure obligation by providing the following information:

  • Merchant Name
  • Merchant Contact Information (address, phone and email)
  • Merchant Number
  • Number of Locations Surcharging
  • Type of Channel (face-to-face, eCommerce, mail order or phone order)
  • Type of Surcharge (brand or product)

To complete the disclosure requirements for Visa and Mastercard, visit these websites:

To complete the disclosure requirements for First Citizens, send an e-mail containing the information as outlined above to:

For more information, please call 1-800-405-5433 option 2 and option 5

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