Barbara Wheeler Introduces Bill to Prevent Merchants from Charging Extra for Credit Card Use

A press release from State Rep.

Rep. Wheeler Looks to Protect Consumers

Springfield, IL… With the 98th General Assembly about to swing into full gear, State Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is looking towards consumer protection with her first ever piece of legislation aimed at credit card user fees.

“There are certainly signs that the economy is moving again; however, families are still weary of fee increases,” Wheeler stated.

Ten states now prohibit surcharges on credit cards.
Ten states now prohibit surcharges on credit cards. Barb Wheeler would make Illinois number 11.

“Even small savings can go a long way, and now is not the time to begin burdening families with increased fees, regardless of their size.”

The measure, HB 977, seeks to make it unlawful for merchants to impose a surcharge on a consumer who elects to pay with a credit card.

In July, an antitrust settlement between the major credit companies, Visa and MasterCard, and merchants will now allow retailers to charge a higher price for consumers who choose the “credit” option as opposed to the “debit” option when making purchases beginning on January 27 of this year.

Prior to the settlement, merchants were only allowed to offer discounts to non-credit card purchases, not to charge a higher price to those paying with credit.

This bill marks the first piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Wheeler and is already receiving support from many of her constituents.

Area business owner Pete Kalantzis, owner of Marzano’s Wood Fired Italian Restaurant in McHenry, has already vowed not to charge customers.

“Me personally, I will not charge my customers,” Kalantzis stated.

“Credit cards are a part of our cost of doing business. We are providing a service and we shouldn’t be penalizing our customers for using credit cards.”

“This is exactly why Rep. Wheeler will be an asset to the people of McHenry County,” said Ed Donahue of the Law Office of Donahue and Walsh.

“This is a common sense approach to an issue that affects everyone. I am the owner of a small business and credit card surcharges have always been a cost of doing business.

“I am also a consumer and this is a bill that protects the consumer.”

9 thoughts on “Barbara Wheeler Introduces Bill to Prevent Merchants from Charging Extra for Credit Card Use

  1. Makes sense to me.

    Electronic transactions have to be more economical for retailers than cash or checks, so why charge more?

    No money-handling, counting, shortages, change-making, deposits, trips to the bank, chasing deadbeats who issue bad checks.

    Geez, there ought to be a Discount for using a credit or debit card!

  2. She’s the only legislator with a brain.

    Thank goodness we have Wheeler representing us.

    I just hope it’s not too late.

    Illinois is in such fiscal bad shape….I just think it’s too late.

    Can she save us from Bankruptcy with losers like Madigan and Franks running the fiscal disaster we call Illinois?

  3. Business owners pay between 3-5% processing fees for credit card purchases.

    As people have moved to debit cards and other electronic payments, they are consistently losing money.

  4. Suggestion:

    What about starting with the State of Illinois and their “Convenience Fees” when using bank credit cards.

    They add on a “fee” when using a charge for State professional ,business ,auto licences and others. Sweet deal.

    Please, don’t just single out the merchant.

  5. Costs $5 to charge something to a credit card at the court house, will this be includec in the ban?

  6. Businesses in Wheelers district should have a talk with her.

    She isn’t on their side, and with the economy still sinking and no solution in sight except added costs to business of customers’ desire not to pay the full cost of their purchases if they use credit cards — which are a convenience, not a right, along with higher taxes, they won’t be in business long with such “lawmakers”.

    If she doesn’t understand “pay for what you get”, get rid of her.

  7. You are missing the point- the charge is merely to offset the cost from the Credit card company- who is also making money on the transaction itself- why penalize the merchant who is losing money with every swipe?

    What if your boss charged you 3% to direct deposit your check? Merchants are merely trying to recoup lost revenue.

    This is why so many small merchants have stopped taking credit cards.

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