It could soon cost us more to shop with a credit card at some stores. As of last Sunday, Jan. 27, merchants who accept credit cards issued by Visa and MasterCard are now allowed to add a service charge to the purchase price.

Visa and MasterCard had always prohibited merchants from doing this. They agreed to change the rules and allow the surcharge as part of the settlement of an antitrust suit brought by retailers.

The surcharge is supposed to equal the actual cost of processing the credit card transaction, which is typically 1.5 to 3 percent.

I don't know about you but I think I'll pass.

**Phoner: If one of your favorite stores starts adding the service charge on to the price, will that cause you to change your shopping habits?