Credit Card Settlement May Not Help

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There's one thing plenty of people agree on about the new, $7.25 billion settlement reached between big banks and retailers on credit card swipe fees: They don't like it. "People on both sides of the issue are disappointed," says Anisha Sekar, VP of Credit and Debit Products for NerdWallet, a website that helps consumers decide which credit card program is best for them. Under the proposed deal—which, if approved by a judge, would be the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history--merchants would be free to tell customers at checkout how much extra they're paying to use a given credit card than if they'd paid by cash. Merchants also would have the option of imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases, which would help them recoup some of the hefty fees they themselves pay to banks for credit card transactions.

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