Ban on credit and debit card surcharges comes into effect TODAY

Credit card

Credit card

But Helen Saxon, from MoneySavingExpert.com, warned: "It may be that we see the amount that used to be charged in credit card fees popping".

Some retailers add charges which are far higher than what they pay to process card payments and surcharges cost Britons an estimated £166million in 2015.

New EU rules come into effect today which will mean customers can't be penalised with extra fees for choosing to pay by credit or debit card.

When you choose to pay via credit or debit card, either in a shop or online, the retailer has to pass a percentage of your money on to the company which organises the payment - usually either Mastercard or Visa.

Takeaway company Just Eat has introduced a 50p "service charge" after previously levying a 50p surcharge on card payments.

Consumer groups have welcomed the ban, but are urging shoppers to report any retailers they believe are flouting the new rules.

"As we build a fairer society, this added transparency ensures buyers can make informed choices about how they spend their hard-earned money".

Gareth Shaw, from Which?

Some firms, including food delivery firm JustEat, have already announced that they intend to simply extend the extra fees to all customers regardless of their payment method, rather than scrap them for those using cards. However, people will be wary if it results in price increases, minimum spend limits or even cards being refused by retailers.

Some small firms fear the move will add to their costs, and encourage more to accept cash payments only.

Up until now, firms were allowed to pass the costs of processing a card payment on to their customers.

Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry said: "The proportion of small firms reporting a rise in operating costs is now at a five-year high".

The aim is to usher in a "revolution" to make it easier for consumers to compare products and thus boost competition in financial and other services.

It will affect only people who actively give their consent to firms and follows a finding by competition authorities in 2016 that older and larger banks did not have to compete hard enough for customers and many people paid more than they should for their accounts.

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