State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

Credit Card Surcharge

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917-Credit Card Billing Inquiries


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Civil Code Section 1748.1 states that no retailer may impose a surcharge on cardholder who elects to use a credit card in a transaction in lieu of payment by cash or check (but the seller can give those who pay by cash or check a discount, provided that the discount is offered to all prospective buyers).

Any retailer who willfully imposes a surcharge and who fails to pay that amount to the cardholder within 30 days of written demand is liable to 3 times the amount at which actual damages are assessed.

In addition, the cardholder would be entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in the action. A cause of action under this section may be brought in small claims court, if it does not exceed the jurisdiction of that court, or in any other appropriate court.

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