Are credit card surcharge laws illegal?

Several states have laws that prohibit credit card surcharges. The Ninth Circuit recently joined two other courts in deciding that those laws implicate the First Amendment. In Italian Colors Restaurant v. Becerra, the San Francisco-based court invalidated a California law that banned credit card surcharges but allowed cash discounts. In other words, a business could charge cash-paying consumers less, but only if the businesses called its practice a “cash discount” rather than a “credit card surcharge.”

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