A large energy company is making changes to its payment system that will impact hundreds of thousands of customers.
When it comes to paying bills, many customers pay with their debit or credit card.
However, Jackson, Michigan-based Consumers Energy is making a change that may detract from that convenience a bit.
The gas and electric provider now charges a $2.99 fee for those who choose to pay their bills by credit or debit card, the company confirmed to The US Sun.
The reason? This is because the use of these payment methods should be prohibited.
“Like many companies, we encourage customers to use payment methods that don’t incur fees — those fees are ultimately passed on to all customers,” Consumers Energy said in a statement.
“This step is another step we are taking to help reduce energy costs for all customers. More than two-thirds of all energy suppliers are taking this approach, as are businesses of all types. Ultimately, this benefits all customers.” We strive to keep bills low.”
To clarify: For companies, the processing of bank account payments is considered cheaper compared to card payments.
So this could be Consumers Energy’s way to cut costs.
But customers can avoid the fee by linking their bank account.
Consumers Energy also noted that it will no longer accept automatic payments for people with a linked debit or credit card.
“We communicated directly to affected customers last month that bill payments for Auto Pay accounts linked to a credit or debit card would no longer be processed, along with instructions on how to resume Auto Pay functionality,” das said Company.
A total of 330,000 Consumers Energy customers are signed up for automatic payment by credit or debit card.
The changes will come into effect on October 1st, so be sure to keep that in mind.
But Consumers Energy isn’t the only company charging credit card fees.
Many local restaurants may charge an extra fee and pass the cost on to customers.
Therefore, before paying your bill, be sure to look out for signs so you know ahead of time before you are charged the surcharge.
Typically, most credit card fees range from 1.5 to 3.5 percent of the transaction.
But even those who have a bank account should beware of sneaky surcharges.
For example, Santander charges a monthly fee for certain accounts.
To avoid the $25 monthly fee for the selected checking account, customers must have at least $25,000 in bank deposits in their account, according to the bank.
So make sure you know how much money is in your account each month.
Also, many banks charge fees for using third-party ATMs.
At Santander, this can cost up to $3.
For more related stories, Stop & Shop added an automatic fee.
And Walgreens has added a surcharge for same-day orders.