Tab, Tax, Tip & Credit Card Surcharge?

As of January 27, 2013, vendors who accept credit cards are allowed to charge patrons a 4% surcharge for paying with plastic. If you plan to take this route, beware -- you must post a sign notifying customers…and they probably won’t be pleased.

Card issuers have charged vendors an interchange fee for years now, which means you, the brewer, pay a small percentage to your patron’s bank each time they pay with plastic. This small percentage adds up fast and can cut deep into a small brewery’s profits.

Last year, the U.S. District Court ruled that you, as a merchant, are allowed to pass that surcharge onto customers, but you have to post signage notifying customers of this change. This ruling is still being disputed. For now, you’ll have to decide whether to pass this fee on to thirsty patrons, and risk losing loyal customers, or eat the cost and lose a little profit.

Questions? Contact the Brewers Professional Alliance.

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