As more and more people head out to do some holiday shopping you might want to double-check your bills at the end of the day.

The convenience of using a credit card while shopping could end up costing you more than you expect. Some businesses in New York are now adding a credit card fee surcharge to your bill to cover the increase that credit card companies have charged restaurants.

So is that legal? Yes but only if the business does a couple of things first.

According to the Love Law Firm, if businesses do these things they can charge extra for using a credit card.

The business must state the policy or price clearly and in advance, and not force the consumer to handle the math involved to determine the price of an item if they pay with a credit card.

So basically if a business states that you will get a 3% discount or a $ dollar discount if you pay cash, they can charge extra for you to use your credit card.

The business can also charge more for using a credit card if they show the difference in the amount for the product. A lot of gas stations will do this, which is why you might see different prices at the pump and on the sign.

Where it becomes illegal, is when the business makes you do the math for the discount. For example, they can't say that a 5% increase to your bill will be added if you use a card. Or they can't issue a flat fee for using a credit card.

They also can't have two different bills. If you are at a restaurant and the waiter asks how you are paying, they can't give you a different bill amount on how you plan on paying.

Make sure to know your rights as a consumer before you head out this holiday season.

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