March 29, 2011

Category: Budgeting

New changes to credit cards and debit cards

A number of consumers rely solely on a bank-issued debit or credit card to handle their purchasing needs. But these products may prove to be an inconvenience in certain instances. 

For example, many individuals have probably walked into a small store or restaurant and tried to pay with a credit card only to learn there's a minimum charge amount. While these policies may have been in violation of previous credit card processing agreements, new regulations have legitimized these restrictions. 

This means consumers may see more $10 minimum limits at stores, according to the Boston Globe. 

Individuals who rely on bank-issued debit cards may now also have to be watchful for overdraft protection fees. According to the report, a number of banks are strongly encouraging consumers to opt into overdraft protection, which will allow them to complete a purchase even if they don't have enough money in their checking account. However, while you may be able to walk home with your new item, you'll also face a large fee for doing so. By not opting for the coverage, your purchase will be declined, but you won't incur a hefty charge. 

 Because of the increasing changes to debit and credit cards, a number of consumers are turning to prepaid cards for their purchasing needs. These products offer consumers the convenience of paying with plastic without being tied down to a particular bank.