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#495220 - 09/01/14 04:31 PM Surcharge on credit card is illegal in Belize
Marty Offline
The issue of surcharges on the use of credits card in Belize has resurfaced. Several customers on Ambergris Caye have been complaining that they are being hit with surcharges when they use their credit cards at various businesses on the island. But according to Belize banking rules, it is illegal and in fact, criminal to do so, and if you are subject to surcharges, you can complain to the right authorities.

A surcharge is an additional fee that a merchant adds to a consumerís bill when a credit card is utilized for payment of goods or services. But in Belize, all banks offering credit card service abide by US Visa and Master Card regulations which do not allow for surcharges, with the exception of ten states in the United States of America.

According to US documents on credit cards, currently there are laws limiting surcharging to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. But because Belize falls within the Latin American and Caribbean regulation on credit cards, and because banks in Belize abide by Visa and Master Card regulations, it is prohibited to surcharge on credit card use (whether charging Visa, MasterCard, Discovery or American Express).

Customers who are being surcharged for using their credit card can visit their respective bank and file a complaint. You are encouraged to provide the correct name of the business, provide copies of receipts showing the actual amount for either goods or services, along with the credit card receipt slip.

For further information on credit card surcharges, you are encouraged to visit your local bank for more details.

Click here for the rest of the story in the San Pedro Sun!

#495528 - 09/09/14 06:46 PM Re: Surcharge on credit card is illegal in Belize [Re: Marty]
Nobody You Know Offline
I did not know this. The gas station and A&R do this regularly...

#495537 - 09/09/14 09:22 PM Re: Surcharge on credit card is illegal in Belize [Re: Marty]
JZB Offline
The gas station would have too since the price on gas is regulated, no?

#495568 - 09/10/14 12:36 PM Re: Surcharge on credit card is illegal in Belize [Re: Marty]
Nobody You Know Offline
I didn't read anything that exempted regulated goods. Gas prices are regulated however they get an additional .50+ a gallon to transport it to the island. Their cost is much less. They make a very healthy profit. Certainly enough to absorb the 1 1/2-2 1/2%.

#496036 - 09/24/14 06:16 PM Re: Surcharge on credit card is illegal in Belize [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
Others just make a discount for cash ...... local credit card charges can be as high as 4% and that truly is a burden to the vendor.

BTW - this is not a comment on the law, it's a comment on the reality of trying to make a living during very difficult times. Vendors' margins are smaller, and charges like this can be the difference between doing business and not.

As a consumer I would however really like to see businesses that don't take CC's post that fact before customers enter. When you've finished your burger and wine, have little cash on you and are told "no plastic", it's a very rude experience. Had that happen the other night at a bar-restaurant I'd not been to before - and probably won't return to.


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