Credit Card Companies Boost Rewards to Incentivize Credit Purchases

Merchants beware: credit card companies are raising their rewards programs for the coming shopping season in an effort to recoup projected losses from debit purchases, trying to take more money out of your profits.

Credit card rewards can offer customers all sorts of bonuses, from airline miles to gift cards, often times enticing users to charge many purchases in hopes of obtaining these perks, but cost you more as the vendor.

The Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act limited swipe fees at 24 cents per transaction, which is estimated to cut profits for banks by the billions, effectively making debit card transactions significantly less profitable.

The amendment was created by Sen. Dick Durbin as a means for businesses to keep more of their profits but has sparked a flurry within banks to recoup their projected losses. For instance, Bank of America announced a $5 a month debit usage fee which was rescinded after public and political outcry, but has hinted that they will recoup the fees one way or another.

In this economic climate, credit card usage is declining and many shoppers are using cash or debit transactions to make purchases. Shoppers are less willing than in previous years to go into debt around the holiday shopping season, silently expressing their doubts or fears regarding the economy, and for some, their employment.

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