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DULUTH - Most shoppers are aware of exactly how much money they are spending each time their credit card is swiped.
However, some may be surprised just how much those transactions are actually costing the retailer.
"Credit card fees are one of the top three expenses in our store," Russ Francisco, owner of Marine General in Duluth, said.
Francisco says the cost for each card swipe can depend on what kind of card the customer uses.
"The more benefits the consumer gets from the card like free airplane miles, money back, the more it costs us to take the card," Francisco said.
Each swipe of a credit card at businesses like Marine General can cost the store an additional two to five percent.
Francisco says those numbers add up quickly.
"I mean it's a huge amount of money, tens of thousands of dollars," Francisco said. "It's incredible what happens when people use cards."
As of Sunday, however, retailers across the country have the option of charging customers up to an extra 4 percent for each credit card purchase, as a way to make up for the loss.
"It could be a hefty charge if they do charge the full amount that they're allowed," Jim Skurla, director of UMD's Bureau of Business an Economic Development said. "But most merchants are backing off and being very cautious about it right now."
Skurla says it will likely take time, and a few brave retailers, for the credit card charges to start popping up on customer bills.
"I think what it'll take is one big merchant or group to do it and say 'we're going to charge this' and everybody else will probably follow along," Skurla said.
Francisco says he does not plan to make any of those bold moves anytime soon.
"Today, no. Five years from now, probably," Fransisco said. "It'll be some way to recover money maybe that we're losing."
A few big companies including McDonald's, Target and Wal–Mart have already announced that they would not be adding on the credit surcharges.
Ten states also prohibit those sorts of fees altogether.