Sunday is the day consumers will start paying more for some things. Not only will the cost to mail a letter go up, but retailers will be allowed to charge more for purchases made by credit card.
Both letters and postcards will see a penny increase in postage starting Sunday. Stamps for first-class letters will cost 46 cents each, while postcard stamps will cost 33 cents each. The way to get around the First Class Mail increase is by stocking up on Forever stamps before Sunday.
Priority Mail and Express Mail prices are also rising. Priority Mail rates will now start at $5.05, an increase of 15 cents. Express Mail rates will now start at $13.09, instead of $12.85.
With these increases also comes a new Forever stamp for those who send mail to other countries. There will now be First Class International Global Forever Stamps available for $1.10 each.
For more information, visit the US Postal Service website.
Also on Sunday, retailers will be allowed to tack on a surcharge for credit card purchases. Retailers have always had to pay credit card companies a fee for electronic payments. Because of a court ruling, those retailers are now allowed to pass those fees, up to 4 percent of the purchase amount, on to consumers as a surcharge or checkout fee.
Retailers are not required to add this fee, and not all will.
Any retailer adding this surcharge must clearly notify customers with signage of the new fees at the store's entrance and at the register, as well as clearly label the fees on the receipts. Charges may vary depending on the credit card used since different credit companies charge retailers different fees.
There are 10 states where this fee is illegal, but New Jersey isn't one of them. Those states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.
To get around the fee, either only shop at businesses that don't charge it or simply pay with cash or a debit card. When using a debit card, consumers should be aware and make sure it is not swiped as a credit card by accident.
For more information, visit www.consumer-action.org.
Enjoy this article? Receive email alerts when new articles are available. Just click on the "Subscribe" link above. On Facebook, "like" South Jersey Frugal Family Examiner for updates and reminders.