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New Mastercard / Visa fee caps agreed with the European Union

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In case you missed it in the mainstream press last week, Mastercard and Visa have made a further concession to the EU over their demands for lower interchange fees.

Both companies have agreed to cut the fees they charge retailers when they process debit or credit cards issued outside the EU.

Mastercard and Visa are already obliged to cap interchange fees at 0.2% for debit cards and 0.3% for credit cards on transactions made in the EU on EU-issued cards.  From 19th October, this cap is now voluntarily extended to all Mastercard and Visa cards issued globally.

Online purchases made from EU retailers with non-EU credit cards are excluded.  Mastercard and Visa have voluntarily agreed a separate cap for online transactions of 1.15% for debit cards and 1.5% for credit cards.  The justification for this is that there is greater fraud risk with online spending – the cost of which is pushed back to the card issuer – and that PayPal, Alipay etc provide greater competition in online payment processing.

This will have no impact on UK cardholders, but it will start to tighten the screws on the profits of foreign-issued credit cards.  In time, this is likely to lead to the end of the high sign-up and spend incentives seen in, say, the United States.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.