Qoute-"There is a federal law preventing charging extra for credit card use."
I read that the card companies got fined for shady deals they were doing last year in the billions and after paying fine, they were allowed, 6 months later, to access the 3% surcharge. Thank Little Timmy "turbo tax" Geithner for that one. Helping his Wall Street Buddies out! Texas not one of the states that would allow fee!
The payments are not a fine. A bunch of merchants sued Visa and Mastercard back in 2005. Visa and Mastercard decided to settle the lawsuit in 2012. Part of the settlement is to pay out $7 billion in damages to the merchants and the other part of the settlement is that merchants would be allowed to add a surcharge for using Visa or Mastercard beginning January 27, 2012.
It was never illegal (except in ten states) for a merchant to add a fee for using a credit card. It was a breach of the contract the merchants had with Visa and Mastercard that allowed them to accept Visa and Mastercard. The new contract that merchants have with Visa and Mastercard now allows a surcharge for credit card usage.