Airlines may no longer charge for the use of a credit or debit card

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It happened very often in the recent past that airlines were charging a fee of up to 10 EUR for the use of a credit card (Visa, MasterCard,  …) or debit card (different types of bank cards) to pay for airfares. This kind of “surcharge” is no longer allowed, according to the 2015/2366 EU Payment services directive of 25 November 2015.

Charges for using  card

When you pay for something in the EU using your credit or debit card, traders (including airlines) and banks cannot charge you an extra fee – also known as “surcharging” – just for using a particular card. This rule applies to all card purchases (in shops and online) made within your home country or in another EU country.

American Express, Diners Club, and business or corporate credit cards, where your employer is billed instead of you, are not covered by EU rules on payment services, and you can still be charged extra for using these cards.

You should be aware that if you’re paying in EU currencies other than euros, you may still be charged a currency conversion fee by your card provider when you use your card in another country.

Sample story

You shouldn’t be charged extra for using your card

Clara from Austria wanted to buy flight tickets online. She selected her tickets on the airline’s website and went to pay. However, when she entered her credit card information, the airline added an extra EUR 10 to the cost of her order as a charge for using a VISA card.

Clara contacted her local European Consumer Centre, who raised a complaint with the airline. The airline refunded the EUR 10 charge for her booking, and modified their rules to remove the illegal surcharge from their booking process.

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