Claim your share of the billion-dollar credit card settlement – ​​NBC 7 San Diego

Rodnia Attiq, owner of El Borrego restaurant in San Diego, enjoys introducing new customers to her family's recipes, especially the lesser-known Mexican dishes prepared in her kitchen. She's also passionate about welcoming back customers, some of whom helped name the restaurant more than 20 years ago.

“People say, 'Hey, I told my father to go to El Borrego. I told my guys to go to El Borrego. I said, 'Who is El Borrego?' “They said, 'You are! Because you sell mutton,'” Atiq told us.

But there have been some changes since opening in the driveway, including how customers pay for their food. Atik said most of them now pay with debit or credit cards instead of cash, and credit card companies charge fees on every transaction — no matter how large or small the amount.

“Many merchants know that this is one of their largest expenses after rent and labor,” said Alexandra Bernay of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, who was the author of the federal antitrust suit against Visa and Mastercard nearly 20 years ago. Co-lead counsel in the litigation.

If you own a business or have owned one within the past two decades, you can always claim your share of a multi-billion dollar settlement.

“I started working when we were in the fast and furious discovery phase,” Burnay said.

She commented that companies work together to set interchange fees, which are fees they charge merchants every time a customer pays with one of their cards. Attiq said this could eat into business profits, adding that they pay about 3% on each credit transaction.

“For us, one and a half days a week is used to pay for it,” she said.

Mastercard declined NBC 7's request for an interview or statement on the lawsuit's allegations. Visa did not respond to any emails from NBC 7. Both companies agreed to a settlement finalized last year without admitting any wrongdoing.

“That’s when we started playing here and doing whatever we could to get real money into the hands of these class members who have been waiting for this for a long time,” Burnay said.

The claims process was launched in December, but Burnay said there were problems. Despite the notification, merchants have not signed up as much as they had hoped.

“If someone says you're going to get free money through the mail, you know, I understand that we've seen a culture of more skepticism, but we're trying to push that forward,” Burnay said.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to file:

Scan the QR code in this article with your mobile phone. Eligible people own or had a business that paid an interchange fee to Visa or Mastercard between January 1, 2004 and January 25, 2019.

This QR code will direct you to Once there, click the “Submit Your Claim” button. Remember, the deadline has just been pushed back from May 31st to August 30th to give merchants more time to submit their applications.

“This settlement really touches all types of businesses from coast to coast,” Burnay told NBC 7.

These include establishments that offer lesser-known Mexican dishes on their menus, such as mixiote and huitlacoche quesadillas.

“I started applying immediately and it was done in less than five minutes,” Atik explained.

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