Chase Moves to Limit Debit Rewards
Although it's a little disingenuous that one of the biggest banks in the country is crying poor over fee reductions that won't even kick in for almost six months, one consumer advocate says he'd be happy to see debit reward programs fade into history.
"Most consumers will be better off," asserts Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at watchdog group U.S. PIRG. Here's why: When banks charge your local grocery store to run the debit card of the guy on line in front of you, the store responds by passing that charge along to all its customers in the form of higher prices. "The whole purpose of debit and credit rewards is not because the bank wants to be your friend," he says.
Mierzwinski is confident that these forthcoming limits on fees will give this nation's retailers more wiggle room to compete for business through aggressive pricing -- in other words, your trip to the store could be cheaper.
But don't expect the banks to go around trumpeting that advantage, Mierzwinski tells WalletPop. "The banks are trying to sell this story that merchants will keep the money, but I don't buy it," he says.