NYC Businesses Are Sneaking Charges Onto Your Credit Card

There are many restaurants and cafe's throughout New York that have established signs that say "Cash only" or "No cash," but have you ever seen a sign or a a blurb on a menu that tells you there will be an extra charge if you use your credit card? Not always right? Well, I have receipts.

In a court battle that officially ended in January 2019, New York merchants were given the right to charge patrons extra for using their credit cards as long as the pricing is clear. However, some businesses are not explicitly telling customers about the extra charge.

In AIMar, an Italian restaurant in DUMBO, a sign reads “Pay by Cash and Save!”

However, paying in cash for their portobello mushroom panini was $14.50, the exact price on the menu with no discount. However paying with a credit card added 4 percent to the bill. One customer complained on Yelp about the surcharge coming as a surprise. “We didn’t find out until they’d already processed our cards,” the restaurant goer wrote in February.

Businesses are saying they need to charge extra to be able to pay the 2 to 4 percent fees they must give to the credit card companies. However, the surcharges have not been going over well in their establishments.

“Wonderful meal. Unfortunately, it was ruined by the 4 percent credit card surcharge,” one patron of the Taverna Kyclades in Bayside posted on Yelp earlier this month.

“They have a $4 ‘technology fee’ for using a credit card. This is ridiculous and they tried to tell us that everyone is supposedly doing this,” said another Yelp reviewer in February of Spanglish NYC in Bayside. “We won’t be returning here because of the fee.”

Spanglish NYC has since discontinued the surcharge, instead offering a discount off the menu for customers paying cash.

“I was getting too many complaints,” said David Arias, the restaurant’s owner. “Customers are not familiar with these charges.”

Some businesses are sneaking the credit card surcharge by calling it a “non-cash adjustment” or “svc fee.” Other establishments are writing it in small font on the menu or in signs blending in with other notices at the front.

Those who violate the law could face a fine of up to $500 or up to one year in jail or both, according to the AG’s office.

Before walking in to a restaurant or place of business, make sure you take note on how to avoid being charged extra!

Photo: Getty

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