Avoid Credit Card Surcharges With Debit Cards

Information verified correct on October 26th, 2016

How do you avoid credit card fees

One way to avoid credit card fees is to understand when they will be added to a purchase. If you are buying dinner at a restaurant, or purchasing a ticket with an airline, or buying a home theater system at a department store, and you are using a credit card, most likely, that business will be charged a fee by the credit card company.

There are some unavoidable surcharge instances, though, that you can’t avoid. For example: when buying plane tickets, specifically the lower price point airline carriers, there will be no way to avoid the fee. It will have to be expected and the only way to get part of the cost back is by using something like an air miles card which will provide some reward.

If you are making a large purchase, this is a good way to avoid paying surcharges. Ask the retailer before making the purchase if there are fees or surcharges to the retailer and what amount is passed on to you. It most likely won’t help in the case of a small purchase, but if you are making a large purchase of a thousand dollars or more, you may be able to convince the retailer to remove the surcharge on your bill. This is away to keep a customer happy, guarantee a large sale, and save you some money.

A new kind of card to carry

Debit cards are a great way to avoid paying surcharges issued by credit card companies. Since debit cards are completely removed from the credit card system, the same fees aren’t applied. Most businesses accept debit cards now and many banks will remove all fees for debit card use if there are certain amounts in the account.

Debit cards are a safer alternative to carrying large amounts of cash. This is unsafe for a variety of obvious reasons, such as theft and loss, and these cards offer that safety. Many debit cards have daily limits and banks are usually very good at reimbursing money in the event of theft and use.

Why pay more?

If you want to avoid credit card fees, it is often doable and it simply means you are conscience of your money and want to save some of it. Money is incredibly difficult to earn and far too easy to spend, so why not be a little more careful with it.

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4 Responses to Avoid Credit Card Surcharges With Debit Cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    Jen | October 20, 2016

    I paid an invoice to an online company, it said “I acknowledge that in using a credit card a surcharge of 2.5% for Visa/Mastercard and 4% for Diners/AMEX will apply”.
    I paid using my Visa debit card and was charged the 2.5% surcharge. This added a lot to the bill!
    Is this correct? I always thought that with a debit card you didn’t have to pay credit card surcharges?

    • Staff
      Jason | October 21, 2016

      Hi Jen.

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Whether you’re charged or not will depend on where you’re shopping. Since you are using a Visa debit card, it still runs through the Visa network. It’s not a credit transaction, but it uses the same infrastructure. But generally you’re less likely to be charged for using a debit card than you would with a credit card.


  2. Default Gravatar
    Mando | March 22, 2016

    Do you pay surcharge when buying with debit card

    • Staff
      Sally | March 23, 2016

      Hi Mando,

      Thanks for your question.

      Whether you’re charged will depend on where you’re shopping, but generally you’re less likely to be charged for using a debit card than you would with a credit card.

      I hope this has helped.



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Rates last updated October 26th, 2016
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NAB Low Rate Credit Card
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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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