Your Credit Card Costs Consumers ~$50,000,000,000 Per Year

Not all money is created equal. It costs retailers extra in fees when you use a credit card, a costs that gets passed right back to you in the form of higher prices, and how much that is depends on which credit card you use. To see how much more expensive your credit card is making life, enter the first 6 digits of your credit card over at, a mashup developed by reader Sean Harper and his friend. This is the bank identification number and cannot be used to steal your credit card, so don’t worry. If you rather not do that, you can also see the results for an AMEX, a debit card, Mastercard rewards card, or a Visa rewards card. Of the project, Sean writes:

Hi Ben – I stumbled onto this article (Credit Card Numbers Decrypted) during the summer and it piqued my interest to learn more about BIN numbers. Eventually that interest led me to collaborate with a friend of mine to write a little mashup that I thought you might like –

Basically we mashed up the BIN number database (which is available for cheap from a variety of sources) and the Mastercard and Visa pricing rules (called interchange, which are published on their websites) to write a little app that answers the question “How much does it cost the store when I pay with a credit card”.

In total, the credit card fees charged to businesses cost consumers about $50,000,000,000 / year (by way of higher prices), so it should be of interest to everyone who shops. [Official Site]

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