Purchases made in the U.S. using Korean credit cards are likely to entail up a surcharge of up to 3 percent beginning next year, the same as for American nationals. Until now, Korean credit card companies shoulder the charge themselves but now they want to pass it on to their customers.
The surcharges will not apply in 10 U.S. states including New York, California and Texas, which prohibit them.
The Wall Street Journal on Sunday said American credit card companies such as Visa and MasterCard have agreed to scrap present contract terms that prohibit them from charging customers credit transaction fees. In 2005, major retailers including Kroger, Safeway and Walgreen filed price-fixing suits against Visa and MasterCard, which own and operate the card brands as well as the electronic platforms that process credit and debit card payments, and against the banks that issue their cards.
They reached a settlement with the retailers on Sunday allowing stores to charge customers for credit transaction. Under the settlement, which still needs to be approved by a judge, retailers are required to explain in advance to customers that they will be paying a surcharge unless they pay cash.
At present, the credit card surcharge rate in the U.S. is 1.5-3 percent.