NEW YORK, September 29 – New York’s Second Circuit Court of
Appeals upheld a New York law prohibiting the imposition of surcharges
on purchases made on credit cards.
In a unanimous 3-0 vote, the federal appeals court issued a 57 page decision
overturning the 2013 judgement passed by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff
in the lower courts, which found the ban of the imposition of credit card
According to Section 518 in New York’s General Business Law (NYGBL),
the law states “No seller in any sales transaction may impose a
surcharge on a holder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment
by cash, check, or similar means.” In addition, the law also states
that New York merchants who are found in violation of this law may be
subject to a $500 fine and may face up to one year in prison.
For consumers in New York, this ruling will help ensure that they are not
charged additional fees for electing to pay using a credit card rather
than a check, cash, or other payment method.
Although the controversial ruling on imposing credit card surcharges, also
widely referred to as “swipe fees” is considered a victory
for retailers and the protection of their First Amendment rights. It is
met with mixed emotions regarding the protection of First Amendment rights
of merchants and their rights to enforce business practices in a free