Can you apply surcharges to debit cards?
Restaurants cannot apply convenience charges to debit card transactions.
The Visa surcharge that they can put on your bill only applies if someone uses a proper credit card. It doesn’t apply at all if they use a Visa debit, as it’s not actually considered a credit card surcharge, but a debit fee. So they are stuck paying the fees for all of the debit cards, forcing many restaurants to consider marrying the cost of both visa and credit card surcharges and add them onto the bills of customers who use credit cards. If the establishment is lucky enough to sell $10,000, they’d have to pay out $400 in debit and credit card convenience fees. This is on top of all of the other overhead. Utilities, payroll, food and beverage costs, inevitable food waste, taxes, and rent really add up. And if they are forced to use an outside food delivery company, they earn even less on each order. The money isn’t really such a big deal when you put it in perspective. And if you disagree with this practice, it’s easy to avoid the fees. Just pay cash. Or Debit, because the convenience charge from that will either be paid by the restaurant, or tacked on to those who pay by credit card.
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