A few weeks ago, eight million Chase customers received a letter stating their debit rewards would be eliminated in July, two days before the 12 cent cap proposed by the Durbin Amendment would take effect. This letter specifically blamed Durbin for this change and told customers, “As a result of this law, we will be changing our debit rewards program.”
However, it seems all is not lost for Chase customers. The Durbin Amendment is supposed to be finalized by April 21, but the Federal Reserve Board recently said that they would not be able to comply with that date and Durbin would likely to be delayed.
In turn, Chase is now saying that if regulations are delayed, they will hold off on eliminating their debit rewards program. This means that not only would they keep debit rewards but they would also waive monthly checking fees for customers who actively use their debit cards – something they stopped back in February in preparation for Durbin.
Wells Fargo and SunTrust also announced they would end debit rewards in April and have yet to mention whether that decision will change based on Durbin delays.
The banks seem to be doing a good job of jumping the gun and confusing their customers. Why didn’t they just wait to see the status of the Durbin before getting folks fleeing to banks that don’t penalize people for using the ever-popular debit cards?
Let us know what you think — did you get a letter and already start looking for a new bank? Or are you going to stick it out with your current bank and see how the whole debit debacle pans out?