Banks threaten debit card spending limit

debit card

Credit: AP Photo / Elaine Thompson

Banks threaten debit card spending limit

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WFAA

Posted on February 19, 2011 at 12:07 PM

What if you go to use your debit card but find you have a $100 spending limit — even if you have more money in your account?

Right now, the idea is a bargaining chip being used by some of the nation's biggest banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup.

The change would have a big impact on shoppers. The average family spends $122 on groceries every week, so a simple trip to the supermarket might in the future require a stop at the ATM.

It all goes back to new rules that Congress is considering aimed at limiting the fees that banks can charge retailers every time you swipe your debit card.

Those proposed rules could hurt bank profits, but merchants and consumer groups argue that the transaction fees imposed by banks are currently unreasonable.

The credit card industry wants to postpone the scheduled start of the regulations in July, but it's unclear if they'll get that delay.

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