Is It Illegal For Maine Businesses To Charge A Credit Card Fee?
If you are one of those people who always takes a close look at your credit card receipt, or the restaurant / bar bill, you may have noticed that some places are charging a credit card processing fee. In some cases, these are called "convenience" fees. Sometimes these fees are a percentage of the total bill. In other cases, they are a small flat rate fee.
In the days before debit (bank) cards were super popular, these were fairly common. They encouraged people to use cash (or a check, in some places) instead of forcing the clerk or server to run a credit card. As debit cards gained popularity, these fees seemed to go away. In recent years, though, they have made a comeback. Maybe because of the crazy economic issues we have seen since March of 2020?
The big question, though, is whether or not they are illegal in the State of Maine. The answer? Sometimes!
According to an article in USA Today, there are several states who have made these charges illegal. Maine is one of those states. If you can read legaleze, you can find the Maine statute HERE
However, it is important to note that Maine state and, presumably, federal government entities are allowed to charge these fees if they so choose.
So, for example, your favorite BBQ place is not allowed to charge these fees. However, there is a chance you could see one of these fees if you chose to submit a license application or register an item with the government.
According to the Client Pay website, these surcharges are also illegal in Massachusetts. They are legal in New Hampshire, though.