We analyze the no surcharge rule (NSR) and its impact on merchant com- petition by comparing different surcharging regimes. Any constraint on surcharging, including the NSR is shown to be a competition-softening device. A NSR may induce socially excessive card use. Allowing imperfectly competitive merchants to surcharge may lead to socially too little card use. Under a NSR, increased cost of card accep- tance increases all prices, even the prices of a merchant not accepting cards. Under the NSR cards yielding no social surplus may be viable. This is not the case without the NSR. Card-use rewards may hurt consumers.
- 511 Nationalekonomi