Whine Wednesdays: Credit Card Surcharges Out Of Control In Australia & New Zealand


Over the past couple of weeks besides I have been spending some time in New Caledonia and Vanuatu, I was also in Sydney and Christchurch.

Whine Wednesdays Credit Card Fees Australia New Zealand U

But what’s up with these “fake” credit card surcharges that some (not all) hotels seems to be collecting that is nothing but a revenue enhancement for them?

There is no chance in hell that a hotel in New Zealand (Novotel Christchurch) would be paying a 2% swipe/merchant fee for accepting Visa/MasterCard or even a 1.5% fee which was case with the Fairmont Blue Mountains, that is not part of Fairmont chain but Accor’s MGallery.

Swipe/merchant fees have been going lower for years. When I had a merchant account in Finland back in the 1990’s, the fee was 0.8% for swipe transactions and no other fees. A friend of mine who runs a restaurant in Spain is paying less than one percent.

The European Union introduced legislation this past spring where the fees are capped at 0.3% for credit cards and 0.2% for debit ones for payments processed in member states.


These hotels and other merchants (10% for taxis in Sydney – no wonder I always used Uber while taxis were sitting outside) basically probably charge double or more than what these swipe fees in Australia are or should be.

If the banks are really charging these fees, they probably offer rebates or other incentives for merchants to use their services like in the case with the Dynamic Currency Conversion scam.