Today, the Federal Reserve will meet to finalize new legislation regarding debit card interchange fees, a “behind-the-scenes” transaction that occurs between the merchant and the card issuer every time you swipe. If you’re a PerkStreet customer, you know the interchange fee well, because it’s the fee we share with you in the form of cash back every time you make a non-PIN purchase with your card.
The new legislation, which is meant to negate the costs of inflation and save consumers money, has banks across the country scrambling, installing and inventing new debit card fees to counter their potential losses. Chase is testing a $3 fee to receive a debit card, SunTrust Bank will implement a $5 monthly fee if you swipe your card, and Bank of America, Citigroup, and other big banking corporations are debating placing a limit on debit card purchases, which could be as low as $50-$100. Instead of sharing their profits with their customers, these institutions rely on them to offset the costs of their branches and other expenses PerkStreet doesn’t incur by being an online-only bank.
With these added expenses and limitations likely to be placed on debit cards, consumers and financial analysts alike are asking, “Is having a debit card really better than a credit card?” Our answer is a definitive yes, and the best option is a PerkStreet FinancialSM Platinum Debit MasterCard®.
At PerkStreet, we have no plans to increase our fees or place additional limitations on spending.
In fact, the only changes we plan on making are ones that will directly benefit our customers, like introducing a savings account and rolling out new mobile apps that are already under development. We plan to continue finding new ways to give our customers even more cash back than the unlimited 2% we already offer.
Credit cards heavily tax the financial stability of American citizens. As of March of last year, the total U.S. revolving debt — 98% of which stemmed from credit cards — was a staggering $852.6 billion. Of households carrying credit card debt, the average debt was $16,007. That’s more than the average annual tuition for public universities. Credit cards make the average American’s debt an even more grim sight than it would already be without them.
In our collective opinion, credit card debt robs citizens of fundamentally important opportunities, while creating a debilitating stress to repay before the owed amount grows to an insurmountable figure.
If the proposed debit card changes frighten you into considering other options, don’t choose the self-serving credit industry that will send you into a financial tailspin as they watch their Benjamin’s pile up. Choose PerkStreet.
What’s your advice for people considering switching from debit to credit cards? How will debit card interchange fee regulation affect America? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.