What Consumers Do When Presented With Credit Card Surcharge Fees

When presented with the news that they will have to pay a surcharge when making a payment with a credit card, nearly 20% of consumers change their mind and end up using a different method of payment, according to the results of a recently released survey.

About 40% of the survey’s respondents knowingly paid the surcharge, 20% said they realized they paid a surcharge only after making the payment, and 18% said they weren’t sure if they paid a surcharge or not.

Among those who made the decision to use a different payment method, cash was the top choice, followed by using a debt card, then paying via PayPal, a digital wallet, or a check.

Interestingly enough, how different generations opted to pay when changing their minds varied from method to method. For example, 72% of members of Generation Z opted to use a debit card instead of using a credit card and being charged a surcharge, compared with only 23% of Baby Boomers and senior citizens. More than three-quarters of Baby Boomers preferred to use cash and 25% used a check, compared with 57% of members of Generation Z who used cash and 33% who opted to pay by check.

The biggest disparity was the choice to use a digital wallet: only 5% of Baby Boomers went that route, compared with 55% of members of Generation Z.

Ultimately, “58% of cardholders say they will avoid card surcharges if faced with the prospect of paying them, but the reality is that surcharges are imposed on less than 10% of card purchases and that consumers pay them in 85% of those instances,” the report concludes.

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