Credit Card Fees Rise

Published January 7, 2007 by OCR Editor

Credit Card Fees Rise

Changes in a leading bank's policy concerning its credit card service and fees will also affect online casino gambling, though not specifically targetting the industry.

The report of the new policy of HSBC says the bank is going to charge a new fee for credit card payments at gambling websites. The bank is going to raise the fee it charges gamblers for transactions by credit card, and bring it to the level of cash-advance payments. The change will take effect February 1st, 2007. Its significance to gamblers is that the rate will be higher than what is currently in place, which is the normal purchase rate for all telephone and online gambling.

The fee will rise from between 15.9% and 22.9% interest to a new interest rate of between 21.9% and 27.8%. Such transactions will therefore be more expensive, but there is also good news, as the gamblers will not be charged the one-off fee, which is in place when involving purchase of foreign currency and other transactions. Mixed blessing for gamblers? It is if one would listen to the news carefully.

The report explained that behind the decision is the fear of a continuing of bad loans and does not target gamblers who use their credit cards for their transactions. The bank's spokeswoman said that bad loans are not typical of gamblers' behavior in any way, but rather a general phenomenon. The bank joins other credit card companies in raising its fees of online casino transactions. However, there are some companies that still charge the older, lower rate of normal purchases.

Alternative Internet payment methods supply gamblers with a way around the higher rates, at least for the moment. PayPal, a popular payment method among gamblers, is charged as a regular online purchase, and does not fall into the higher rate category. Few indeed use credit cards, and so few will likely be affected by the new policy.

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