As a credit card consumer there are certain rights and protections that you enjoy. Let’s take a look:

Did you know that if you lose your credit card or if it’s stolen you are only liable for $50 maximum of unauthorized charges regardless of when you reported the loss or theft? This rule is part of the Fair Credit Billing Act which protects credit card consumers from suffering financially because of unauthorized use of a credit card. The act also states that if you report the credit card lost or stolen before there are any unauthorized charges you are not required to pay any of the charges.

Have you ever gone into a restaurant and the merchant demanded that you pay a surcharge to use your credit card? Well, that’s against the rules of the merchant account agreements. However, merchants are allowed to offer a “cash discount” which would make an item cheaper if a consumer pays for it using cash instead of a credit card.

Have merchants placed a hold your credit card for the “estimated tip”? Merchants have no right to place a hold on money in your credit card for the amount of an estimated tip. This often happens in restaurants where a customer’s credit card is authorized for the price of the bill plus 20%. If the customer pays less than the estimated tip it is eventually changed but it initially appears as if the customer’s credit card has been overcharged resulting in many angry complaints. This is why Visa has banned the practice.