Is this the end of credit card rip-offs?

Crackdown on credit card and debit card fees could help cardholders save more than $100 a year

The 2015 Senate inquiries into credit cards have revealed alarming figures on excessive credit card costs and the toll they on national debt levels. More than ever, politicians and organisations are discussing opportunities for reform and improvement. Most recently, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced a push to gain the power to police excessive surcharge fees charged by companies.

The strategy is now in the hands of new Treasurer Scott Morrison. Australian cardholders could stand to save at least $1 billion annually if the proposal goes ahead, with airlines, telcos, energy retailers and ticketing companies likely to be impacted.

The proposal will provide the consumer watchdog with the authority to regulate companies who charge fees that dramatically exceed the amount it costs them to process the transaction. This could result in significant savings for cardholders. For example, Mastercard alone estimated that Australian cardholders were out of pocket $1.6 billion dollars a year because of fees- that’s $130 per person.

As reported by The Courier-Mail, Morrison confirmed that the response to the inquiry is very close to completion and will be considered by the Cabinet in the near future.

After the Senate inquiry announced Australia’s record-breaking levels of credit card debt and the huge gap between interest rates released by the RBA compared to those charged by the banks, this action against surcharges could be one of many improvements Australian cardholders can look forward to.

What you need to know from the Senate inquiry

Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is a journalist at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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