Why is there a fee when I pay property taxes by credit card?

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Q. Why do I have to pay a fee if I use a credit card to pay my utilities or property taxes? I know there is always a disclaimer that the fee goes to the credit card company. It can add up to a lot of money.
— Annoyed

A. You’re right that all these fees add up.

The company or agency charging the fee does it so it doesn’t have to bear the costs itself.

“While utilities normally accept credit card and debit card payments methods, these utilities charge a convenience fee to recoup the higher costs incurred for handling those payments since they are being hit with a fee from the processing companies which are normally third party processors,” said Bill Connington of Connington Wealth Management in Paramus.

He said these agencies are not supposed to turn a profit on these fees.

“A better way to pay would be by setting up e-check, paying by mail or e-billing though your bank,” Connington said.

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This story was originally published on June 3, 2020.

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