Credit Card Fee Effective January 1, 2021

The City of Santa Monica will begin assessing convenience fees on most types of debit and credit card transactions beginning January 1, 2021. Electronic check or e-check payments are a no-cost alternative for customers to take advantage of in lieu of credit card transactions where processors charge a fee for each transaction.

The fees will show as a separate charge and will in most cases be paid directly to the credit card processors, and the City will not retain any portion.

Here is a summary of the fee rate by type of transaction:
Administrative Citations $3.50 per transaction (customers are already paying)
Utility Payments 2.95% per transaction
Parking Citations $1.00 per transaction
Rent Control(to be provided)
All Other Transactions (non-parking) 2.95% percentage of the transaction

Electronic checks and mailed checks are other no-cost payment alternatives.

This is part of an effort to fully recover business costs to instead invest in community services, including the $4 million paid to credit card processors annually. The fees were authorized by the City Council at the October 27, 2020 meeting.