Senate passes bill to regulate high credit card surcharges

Pile of Credit Cards

After months of debate, the Senate has passed a bill that will put an end to unregulated credit card surcharges

22 February 2016: Credit card holders can rejoice as high surcharges (potentially) become a thing of the past. The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Payment Surcharges) Bill 2015 was passed by the Senate this morning. The bill gives the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) the right to regulate companies that charge excessive credit card surcharges.

The ACCC will now have the power to investigate surcharges and issue infringement notices of up to $108,000 for companies caught overcharging cardholders. In October 2015, the Turnbull Government vowed to crackdown on surcharges and companies charging more than the 0.5% it costs to process a payment.

It turns out that many companies were charging, at least, double that amount. A 2015 Senate inquiry revealed that Qantas had been charging 339% above the average and Virgin Australia had been marking up 412% on airfare surcharges. Last year, MasterCard also found that Australians fork out around $1.6 billion a year in surcharges alone.

The new laws are expected to come into effect over the next few months, targeting some of the biggest brand names in Australia. As well as airlines, taxis and ticketing companies are just some of the companies that are expected to come under the pump later this year.

So what does this mean for you? If all goes to plan, you’ll be spending less money when you use your credit card to cover everything from taxi fares, concert tickets and flight costs. While that will depend on the ACCC actually taking enforcement action, it’s a welcome development.

Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is a journalist at who is a credit cards and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

2 Responses to Senate passes bill to regulate high credit card surcharges

  1. Default Gravatar
    Steve | September 7, 2016

    How and where do I lodge a complaint about excessive Credit Card Charges, ie: Macquarie Bank is still charging 3.3% for card payments.

    • Staff
      May | September 21, 2016

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you for your question.

      You can lodge a consumer complaint on excessive credit card surcharges on Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the instruction on how to go the process is also outlined there. I’ve sent to your email the link to their website.


Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 26th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards 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.

Ask a question