Debit Cards, They Ain’t go Great After All

Nothing bothers me more than to hear people say they “love” their debit cards. It’s
asinine to me for people to be connected so emotionally to any financial service or
product. It sets them up for disappointment and places unrealistic expectations on the
future behavior of your banking partners.

How do I know this? Just look at how consumers, politicians and the media reacted
when Bank of America announced they’d charge a $5 monthly fee to their debit card
users. The backlash was significant, so much that Bank of America decided to back off
their fee. But the downside to debit cards doesn’t end there. Here are some other little
discussed problems with those plastic checks;

1) ATM fees, often tied to multi use debit cards, are going up according to Bankrate.
The fees are up 71% since 2001 and signs point to a continued increase.

2) Debit cards are the reason free checking is an endangered species. Money is
money and revenue is revenue and the banks don’t really care where it’s going to
come from. If they can’t charge debit card fees then they’ll charge it somewhere else.
That ‘somewhere else’ seems to be checking account fees.

3) All things being equal, credit cards are a better option. Rewards programs for debit
cards are being eliminated, but they’re becoming better for credit card use. And as long
as you pay your bill in full each month and choose credit cards without annual fees,
credit cards are a better choice. You also enjoy the credit building benefits and more
aggressive fraud protections when you use credit cards.

4) The cap in swipe fees now in place on debit cards is saving merchants billions of
dollars each year, but consumers aren’t seeing a penny of those savings. The retail
industry promised that they’d pass on savings to consumers when debit card swipe
fees were capped. Already National Retail Federation is making excuses as to why
consumers haven’t seen any discounts from the swipe fee cap, citing “it’s too soon” as

their primary reason for the discount delay.

Michael B. Citron is an internationally known public speaker and author. He lectures for professional associations worldwide. Michael is a serial entrepreneur who is dedicated to living the American dream, and helping others to do the same. His role at DisputeSuite.com has placed him in the spotlight of the credit repair industry. DisputeSuite is the largest provider of technology and education services to the industry, and has been a catalyst in the forward movement to standardize the credit repair industry.

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