Excessive card transaction charges to be banned

The British government is set to announce a ban of excessive credit and debit card charges on online transactions.

The actions follows a complaint from the consumer magazine Which? – and the move will affect online ticket sales for UK theme parks.

Under the ban, no company will be able to charge more than the transaction actually costs to process, and the charge must be stated at an early stage of the purchase.

In many cases, the application of the fee is not stated until late in the checkout process.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “The Government’s decision to ban rip-off debit and credit card surcharges is a huge ­victory for consumers, finally putting an end to these unfair and excessive charges. More than 50,000 people supported our campaign to see these fees stamped out.”

Visa credit cards cost £2.50 at many of Merlin Entertainments theme parks and attractions, with MasterCard and debit cards usually facing a £1.50 levy.

£1.50 is also placed on top of bookings for Lightwater Valley and Oakwood.

No charge is applied at Pleasure Beach Blackpool or Pleasurewood Hills. Information on other parks was not available at time of writing.

The ban is expected to come into force from the end of next year.