Adding Transaction Fees At Check Out - Best Practices

Thinking about adding credit card transaction fees to your online sales? There are two things to consider:

  1. Is it legal in your state?
  2. Is it good for business? 

1. List of states that currently can NOT add a credit card surcharge to a bill:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

A good resource for credit card questions: Know Your Card (

New Rules That May Be Coming

Under the proposed settlement:

  • The surcharge cannot exceed the amount that the merchant actually pays to accept credit cards—typically between 1.5% and 3% of the transaction amount.
  • Surcharges can be imposed only on credit card transactions, not on purchases made with debit cards.
  • Merchants must disclose the credit card surcharge very clearly—at the store entry and the point of sale, or on the first webpage on which credit cards are mentioned if the merchant does business on the Internet.
  • The disclosure must include the amount of the surcharge, the fact that the fee is being charged by the merchant (as opposed to the card issuer), and that the fee does not exceed the merchant’s cost to accept credit cards.
  • The dollar amount of the surcharge must appear on the transaction receipt.

2. Even if it is legal in your state for merchants and organizations to include a transaction processing surcharge, we do not recommend doing so.

  • If you are trying to increase membership, boost fundraising, increase donations….all of these goals are easier to reach if you make it easier for parents to participate and remove roadblocks.
  • Parents may not be happy when they get to the checkout and find you have added 4.0% onto their bill.
  • If you think of your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club as a small business, then it makes sense to price the items you are selling so that is covers your overhead. 

*For further information on this topic, view our blog: 21st Century Parent Organizations - Accepting Credit Cards

*For instructions on using this feature with your Membership Toolkit Account, view our article: Pass-Through Transaction Fees