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Aldi surcharge making ‘insane’ grocery bargains more expensive

The average Aldi shopper who pays by credit card will be slugged an extra $54.60 a year.

Aussies have been sharing the massive savings they’ve made by switching over to Aldi for their grocery shopping, but there’s a small detail that could be eating into their bargain buys.

Aldi currently charges customers a 0.5 per cent surcharge on all credit card and contactless card purchases at its stores.

With the average Aldi shopper spending $210 a week on their groceries, this means customers could be slugged with a $1.05 fee each time they do their shopping. While this might not seem like much, over the course of a year, it adds up to $54.60 just for paying by card.

Aldi sign and customer's receipt with credit card surcharge.
Switching to Aldi for your grocery shopping? Don’t get caught out by this added fee. (Source: AAP/X)

Have you been hit with a high surcharge? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com

Yahoo Finance can confirm customers who insert their card and select ‘savings’ can avoid the added fee.

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The German retailer has explained that the “very high costs associated with accepting these cards” are the reason behind the surcharge.

“Rather than Aldi inflating prices across the board to compensate for the credit card acceptance costs (like most of the retailers do) Aldi instead allows customers to make the choice as to the payment method they prefer,” Aldi’s website says.

“This allows customers who choose the lower-cost method of payment, to receive the direct benefit by way of lower prices.”

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Aussies paying $140 a year in surcharges

Recent research by Canstar found the average Aussie shopper paid $140 last year on electronic payment surcharges. That adds up to $4 billion - a $400 million increase on the year prior.

Businesses are allowed to charge customers a surcharge for paying by card, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission notes it must not be more than what it costs the business to use that payment type.

“There is a cap on the amount you can surcharge and the merchant can only recover the cost of the transaction,” Canstar finance expert Steve Mickenbecker previously told Yahoo Finance.

As a guide, the Reserve Bank estimates Visa and Mastercard credit card payments incur an average cost of between 1 and 1.5 per cent. For Visa and Mastercard debit card payments, it is 0.5 to 1 per cent, and for EFTPOS payments it is less than 0.5 per cent.

Some experts have warned Aussies could be more vulnerable to excessive surcharging now that the use of cash is declining and some businesses are no longer accepting it.

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One Aussie shopper claimed she saved $51.20 by shopping at Aldi and a local grocer, rather than at Coles.
One Aussie shopper claimed she saved $51.20 by shopping at Aldi and a local grocer, rather than at Coles. (Source: Facebook/Aldi Mums)

Shoppers share Aldi bargains

But the payment surcharge hasn’t seemed to deter shoppers, with many sharing their savings.

One Aussie mum shared she’d saved more than $50 off her weekly shop by switching from Coles to Aldi and grabbing her fruit and vegetables at the grocer. Another compared the dramatic difference in size and price between his Aldi and Woolworths shops, with a fellow shopper saying they had done the same thing, calling the difference “insane”.

Aldi claims it saved customers $3.4 billion last year and called for shoppers to give it “a go”.

“Our everyday low pricing model means customers have certainty when they walk through our doors, so much so that we can confidently say that we will not be beaten on the cost of the weekly shop,” an Aldi spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.