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Interchange Fees

Definition: Interchange Fees

You can't see them, but interchange fees cost the average American family about $400 each year. The fees are factored into prices for everything from gas to groceries and are a way for merchants to pass the cost of credit card usage on to consumers.

Because so many consumers rely on credit cards for everyday purchases, retailers have found their merchant discount fees rising rapidly. That fee is paid to the processing bank every time a card is swiped and includes the cost of renting the credit card terminal, customer service, and an interchange fee that makes up the majority of the total merchant discount fee. The entire fee costs about two percent per purchase.


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