I consider myself a super savvy shopper (I do love shopping!) and as such, I use credit cards on occasion, albeit as responsibly as possible (I pay them off each month). And, as a banking industry professional, I am aware of and understand credit card interchange fees. Up until late, these fees (the charge that companies like Visa and MasterCard charge to merchants for each transaction) were just the cost of doing business for retailers. It especially hurt small businesses (like the boutiques I like to frequent) since they were not allowed to pass that charge onto their consumers. That has all changed now. You need to be aware of what something is going to really cost (taxes, shipping, and now credit card usage fees, etc) in order to make an informed decision about the most affordable way to pay for it. The retailer can now tack on a fee to the cost of an item if you choose to pay with a credit card. And, that fee can be up to 4% of the cost of your purchase!! Ouch!
LifeHacker, via Wise Bread, ran a great article the other day on how this all works and what it means to you as the consumer and whether or not it applies to you (depends on the state where you are and a few other things). Check it out here.
So, go ahead and buy those Jimmy Choos, but make sure you know which (if any) card to slap down on the counter – and think debit before credit!