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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.

visa mastercard

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 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2022 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. Here are the top current deals.

There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios (SPECIAL OFFER) and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 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

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 offers.

The bonus on the Capital On Tap card is increased from points worth 10,000 Avios to 30,000 Avios until 4th February 2022.

The bonus on the British Airways Accelerating Business card is increased from 30,000 Avios to 45,000 Avios until 28th February 2022.

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

45,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

30,000 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Apply 31st March 2022 and your cashback will be increased to 2% for the first three months.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (2% for your first 3 months) and no annual fee Read our full review

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