The U.S. credit-card market is the oldest and largest in the world. It’s also the least regulated and most expensive. In other countries, policymakers keep card companies in check by setting price caps or by funding public sector alternatives. The result is lower prices. In the U.S., credit-card fees stand at between 1.3 percent and 2.7 percent of transaction value; in Europe, they are as low as 0.3 percent.

Marc Rubinstein is a former hedge fund manager and the author of the weekly finance newsletter Net Interest. He wrote this for Bloomberg Opinion.

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