Companies will no longer be able to charge British consumers an extra fee to use their credit card to make a payment, the U.K. government said Wednesday. The new rules, due to come into effect on Jan. 13, should put a stop to such surcharges, which can add 20% to the cost of an airline ticket or paying for takeout food, the Treasury Department said in a statement. The total value of these extra credit-card and debit-card charges in 2010 was 473 million pounds ($617 million), the Treasury said. "Rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain and that's why card charging in Britain is about to come to an end," Stephen Barclay, economic secretary to the Treasury, said in the statement. The changes are being brought in to comply with a European Union directive, but go beyond its requirements by including payment services such as PayPal.
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