The new regulation allows card issuers to charge a 15 percent fee for amounts transferred to SZÉP card but not spent within a year.

Government Decree No 381/2022 (X. 6) on emergency rules for the use of the Széchenyi Rest Card was published. The legislation states that the service provider will charge a one-off fee on March 20 and September 20 for amounts transferred as a SZÉP Card benefit and not used during a period of at least 365 days after the transfer. The fee is 15% of the unused amount, but at least HUF 100. If the unused amount is less than HUF 100, the fee is equal to the unused amount.

The Government Decree also determines what the service provider must spend the charged amount on. It says that the service provider is required to spend the 50% of the charged fee on its operating and marketing costs directly incurred in connection with the SZÉP Card, and 50% will go to the Hungarian Tourism Association Foundation.

The Government Decree also requires the service provider to inform the cardholder of the unused balance and the amount of the pre-calculated fee for the unused amount 90 days before the date on which the above fee is charged.

The main rule is that the fee charged in connection with unused benefits is applied in the first round to benefits credited after October 15, 2022.

However, it is a temporary rule that the service provider will charge first time on 31 May 2023 the 15% fee for the amounts transferred as benefit to the SZEP Card account until 15 October 2022, credited on the account but not used. This means that it is recommended that amounts transferred until 15 October 2022 should be spent until 31 may 2023 because the temporary rule allows charging the fee for amounts transferred until 15/10/2022 but not used until 31/5/2023 as well.

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