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Lyndonn

Credit Card surcharge?

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Today, when I set up our onboard account using our Princess Personalizer, I received the following notice:

 

If you are using a credit card to pay for your onboard charges, a surcharge fee of 1.1% will be applied. Debit cards do not incur a surcharge.

 

Is this something new with Princess Cruises?  We recently disembarked the Golden Princess and there was no credit card surcharge on our stateroom statement.  

 

Thank you for your replies.

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Posted (edited)

I didn't see it in any of my current cruise contracts. 

 

 

 

Edited by neverbeenhere

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We will be travelling next year on the Majestic departing from Australia.  All our ship tours etc are in Australian dollars.  Received the same message as yourself.  We have two other cruises booked (that do not depart from Australia) and no such message.

We are US citizens and have never used debit cards.  Will get on for the Majestic cruise.  Hope this helps.

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Right or wrong, they can do whatever.  I believe it is done for any cruise where on board currency is not USD.  I imagine they do it to protect themselves in case of currency fluctuations.  When we traveled in Europe around our Baltic cruise this summer, it was not unusual to find some restaurants and the like adding 1% or so to the bill for using a VISA card.  So, it could be similar for Princess as perhaps there are higher bank charges in Australia or when using AUD.  

 

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Posted (edited)

  I thought I heard that the Credit Card companies do not permit the vendor surcharge to be passed on to the consumer.  I’m not sure?

 

 

Edited by Lyndonn

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 Credit card transaction fees are on the rise, I am not surprised to see this popping up on Princess. In the past passing these transaction fees to the customer and being transparent about it was set on a state-by-state basis.

I appreciate that Princess is being transparent about the fees and giving me an option to avoid them by using a debit card. If they weren't transparent, it would just get passed onto every person through higher prices. 

No one wants to see any additional costs but I appreciate being given a heads up about it. 

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47 minutes ago, Lyndonn said:

  I thought I heard that the Credit Card companies do not permit the vendor surcharge to be passed on to the consumer.  I’m not sure?

 

 

This has always been true in the past. They allowed a business to give a discount for cash, but not to charge a surcharge on credit cards. Amounts to the same thing, but that was always the rule. Might have changed.

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58 minutes ago, Lyndonn said:

  I thought I heard that the Credit Card companies do not permit the vendor surcharge to be passed on to the consumer.  I’m not sure?

 

 

 

9 minutes ago, Sea Hag said:

This has always been true in the past. They allowed a business to give a discount for cash, but not to charge a surcharge on credit cards. Amounts to the same thing, but that was always the rule. Might have changed.

I would not assume that whatever may or may not apply in the USA is not necessarily the practice elsewhere in the world.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, steelers36 said:

 

I would not assume that whatever may or may not apply in the USA is not necessarily the practice elsewhere in the world.

 

Since the OP is in San Diego, my answer of what has applied in the USA is correct, at least in terms of where the OP is located. I've never seen a surcharge on any of our cruises.

Edited by Sea Hag

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3 minutes ago, Sea Hag said:

Since the OP is in San Diego, my answer of what has applied in the USA is correct.

OK, but the original conversation was about experiencing a surcharge to the amount otherwise payable when overseas or on Princess Australian cruises.  NP.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Colo Cruiser said:

Australia cruises or not......

That is just wrong.

Pretty standard when you use credit cards in Australia.  Unlike the US where in the past laws existed that prevented merchants from charging a fee for credit card use (I believe that law has now lapsed) and as such custom has been for no fee to be charged, it is different in other countries.  In Australia such a fee is the norm, and 1.1% is pretty low for such fees there.

 

Australian cruise, charged in Australian dollars, using Australian credit norms.

Edited by npcl

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In the US there is not any current law preventing such surcharges and the restriction in the credit card companies (Visa and MC) went away in 2013.  Main reason you do not see more of it in the US is custom and competition. For a business to charge surcharges in the US they must notify the customer (i.e. sign at checkout register) and not exceed 4%.

 

Credit card surcharges are legal

Businesses are allowed to impose a surcharge on credit card purchases made on Visa and Mastercard, under a court settlement that took effect in January 2013.

At present, merchants can pass along a charge equal to what they pay to accept the card, up to 4 percent. 

 

Some states instituted bans on credit card surcharges, but those bans have been undercut by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against New York state’s no-surcharge law in 2017. Although other states were not directly involved in the case, any laws that mirrored New York’s law are now unenforceable under the high court’s decision.

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I have a cruise coming up and have not received such notice, but it is sailing from SFO to Sydney.

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1 minute ago, janina said:

I have a cruise coming up and have not received such notice, but it is sailing from SFO to Sydney.

I am pretty sure that you will only see it on cruises originating in Australia where the on board currency is Australian Dollars.  This has come up from time to time on cruise critic.

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3 hours ago, Lyndonn said:

Today, when I set up our onboard account using our Princess Personalizer, I received the following notice:

 

If you are using a credit card to pay for your onboard charges, a surcharge fee of 1.1% will be applied. Debit cards do not incur a surcharge.

 

Is this something new with Princess Cruises?  We recently disembarked the Golden Princess and there was no credit card surcharge on our stateroom statement.  

 

Thank you for your replies.

 

I think this is actually a new fee the California governor just enacted - Just kidding

 

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Credit card companies charge retailers anywhere from 1 to 4 percent on purchases here in the USA and Canada.  These charges are buried in the price of the purchase by the retailer and are shared by credit card users and non users alike.  Many retailers do not accept one of the major credit cards which charges a bit more than the other two, esp. here in Canada.

 

Australia does not allow this burial, hence the surcharge.  The only strange thing going on is the transparency which seems above board to me.

 

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This has been discussed in several previous threads. It applies only to Australian based cruises with the Australian dollar as the onboard currency. It does not matter where the cruise is booked from - it matters only where the cruise is based. This is a common practice in Australia, and Princess is following the Australian practice for these cruises.

 

This following information is provided under Cashless Cruising in the FAQ on Preparing For Your Cruise:

 

"Onboard charges are in United States Dollars (USD) with the following exceptions: for guests on Australia sailings operated by Princess Australia, all onboard charges are in Australian Dollars (AUD)

If you are using a credit card to pay for your onboard charges on an AUD currency sailing, a surcharge fee of 1.1% will be applied (regardless of cardholder nationality.) Debit cards do not incur a surcharge."

 

 

 

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Keep in mind that the surcharge only applies to your on board bill.  It does not apply to anything prepaid such as gratuities, OBC purchase, excursions.  So if it concerns you then just prepay the things that you know about and minimize the amount subject to the fee surcharge.

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Firstly, this charge has nothing to do with currency fluctuations. Secondly, a credit card charge in Australia is quite common practice and usually around 1%. Not all retailers or restaurants/hotels etc charge it. The credit card charge is entirely up to the individual business eg some petrol service stations charge it, while some don’t. In my experience most businesses don’t but the practice is increasing.

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I booked a tour in Petra last month  and to use a credit card, the added 6 %.   We are on a dive trip right now in Cozumel and came to Tulum yesterday to do some Cenotes diving.   The dive shop added 8% for my credit card payment.   Never has happened any place around the world.   I did not have an extra $800 so I had to do it.   And two restaurants added 6% for paying the bill.   Maybe it is something with Tulum but wish I would have know ahead of time and I would have brought an extra $1000.   One Cenotoes even charged my son $25 to bring his camera on the dive.

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5 hours ago, steelers36 said:

Right or wrong, they can do whatever.  I believe it is done for any cruise where on board currency is not USD.  I imagine they do it to protect themselves in case of currency fluctuations.  When we traveled in Europe around our Baltic cruise this summer, it was not unusual to find some restaurants and the like adding 1% or so to the bill for using a VISA card.  So, it could be similar for Princess as perhaps there are higher bank charges in Australia or when using AUD.  

We have also seen this in restaurants in the US. We just returned from the Baltic yesterday. When we were in Germany it was tough to find a restaurant that took CC.

 

5 hours ago, steelers36 said:

 

 

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Our Meriton Suites Mascot by Sydney airport had a 1% service fee for credit cards.  Luckily, we didn't have a balance to pay on our b2b cruise out of Sydney.  We were told prior to cruise that there would be a credit card fee on amount due at end of cruse.

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