The context: Customer pays for some service 100$. If he chooses an option X, we charge him 20$ more, so 120$ in total.

As a programmer I want my variables to have meaningful names. How would you call this 20$ in this context?

I consider two words: markup (but it is more related to the business than customer IMHO) and surcharge.

  • optionX_premium_fee_value Jul 21, 2017 at 20:41
  • Options bump up the price. This works well when there are easily addable or swappable components. A 125 amp alternator will bump up the price of the motor. It works well in your case because the amount is not necessarily the value of the item, but the change in value between before and after. Bump-ups may be greater or less than the value of the item by itself.
    – Phil Sweet
    Jul 22, 2017 at 15:15
  • I suggest this question requires knowledge of the sales jargons more than an English expertise. I say this because the specific answer I heard in a video of Mr. Tom Hopkins, who is considered an Expert in Sales, to use investment rather than price. My suggestion would be to avoid using fees or surcharge as they sound rude to a customer, which doesn't talk about any value in return. We can try using "contribution" instead, which also gives a sense of ownership to the customer. Jul 23, 2017 at 10:39
  • 1
    @MohammedAkhtarZuberi you are probably right, but this word is just a variable name as I am a software engineer, so no customers involved :) Naming things in my industry is very important, thus I wanted to choose the best name possible, so it's clear for other devs what the variable is holding. Jul 23, 2017 at 13:45
  • I voted your comment up for being practical. May I am belong to Marketing so thought the other way. As far as the backend is concerned, perfect. Jul 23, 2017 at 14:06

7 Answers 7


The words that immediately come to mind are "surcharge" and "fee". Consider the following:

Basic cable service provides 50 standard channels for a set price of $30 a month. As for the premium channels, you may order them for an additional surcharge of $20.

...or the following:

Standard repair service rate for a computer is $40 an hour. There is, however, an overnight fee of $10 for every night the computer is kept in our possession, after the repair is completed. We notify you after we have completed the service, and for every day that passes, you incur this extra fee.

I am just utilizing random numbers on the example sentences, but I hope they help clarify usage.

  • 4
    This is a good start, but despite the acceptance of this answer (which I agree with) there is still room for improvement. Specifically, if you incorporate the etymology of surcharge, you validate your answer of surcharge as the antonym of discount. Fee should be dropped, because it requires "extra" to have the same meaning as surcharge.
    – DukeZhou
    Jul 21, 2017 at 18:27
  • 2
    @DukeZhou I would be inclined to agree, but in the case of a service, a fee does not require the word "extra" -- There is a charge for a service, and fees for additional accommodations, be they intentional or accidental, such as storage fees, or late payment fees.
    – psosuna
    Jul 21, 2017 at 21:24

Premium. You are asking the customer to pay for premium services or merchandise.

"The Stonywood neighborhood is highly desirable so houses sell at a premium." (See Collins Dictionary https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/at-a-premium )

TurboTax sells a "premium services bundle" at https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2204687-what-is-the-premium-services-bundle (Note: not a product recommendation, just a usage example.)

  • Thanks for the answer, however we have already agreed on surcharge. I would add this word to my toolbox though. Jul 22, 2017 at 5:46

Markup refers to how the supplier fixes the price before the customer sees it, while surcharge suggests an extra charge for accommodating a demand from the customer that the supplier does not particularly want to encourage. It is unlikely that a single word is ideal here. However, if you use two words, you are spoilt for choice: extra charge, additional charge, supplementary charge, and so on.


"Surcharge" is the one I'd go for, but I've also seen "supplement".


I would think that what ever is driving the cost/price of the "Extra" should be kept as its own identity. If we choose an extra option on the back of a product, like cable mentioned above, we know what we are asking for and therefore we are not being charged anything additional. The cable company would report separately on these two items, as they should. So, that said, where will you report this income? As a product sale, a service offered, or are you simply wanting to charge one person more than another for the same product/service?

  • 1
    Think of the required word as a hypernym which covers all available individual items. A collective term which includes every option. What should that term be?
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 21, 2017 at 21:33

I don't think there would be an all encompassing term, and I don't disagree with some of the other answers. I believe it all has to do with context. I may have interperated OP's context differently (it was slighlty vague) but my answer is; If a supplier induces a customer to puchase something more, the term is upsell. When the customer pays for the upsold good or service it is referred to as an "add-on."


Premium is opposite of Discount. Or call it an up-charge, but nobody likes the sound of up-charge.

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