This month, congress will vote on a bill to eliminate almost all the funding for popular credit card reward programs like cash back and travel points. This Legislation would allow retailers to process credit card transactions without getting charged a processing fee. Putting millions of dollars into big-box retailer pockets. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced the bill to the Senate, and Peter Welch (D-VT) and Lance Gooden (R-TX) submitted it to the House and are planning on getting passed and signed by the end of this year.
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Live Richer Podcast: You Might Be Losing Your Credit Card Reward Points, Here’s What You Should Do
In my most recent episode of the Live Richer podcast, I talked to Jason Stverak, who currently serves as the Credit Union National Association’s(CUNA) Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer for Federal Government Affairs. He informed me about the new Marshall Durbin Interchange Bill and shared five ways it will impact consumers negatively and what consumers can do to prevent it from passing.
Five Ways the Marshall Durbin Interchange Bill Will Impact You
1. “The bill reduces the credit availability that consumers currently have.”
With credit card companies making less on each transaction, their ability to loan out money will decrease, making it harder for people to gain credit, according to Stverak.
2. “The bill will negatively impact the amount of money credit card companies have to protect their customers from fraud. Making the bill a significant threat to data security and privacy of consumer data.”
Stverak stated that cyber crimes are rising daily and the amount of money Visa puts into its security and fraud division is astronomical. Decreasing credit card companies’ profit margins will only diminish the funds they have to put toward their security programs, placing the consumer at risk.
3. “Passing the bill is supposed to help small businesses, but the real winners are the mega retailers. Mega retailers who do millions of daily transactions are the ones who genuinely benefit and make money from the bill.”
The amount of money a small business will save compared to companies like Amazon, Walmart and Target is astronomical. The real winners of the passing of this bill will be large retailers who do billions of transactions a year–increasing their profits at the cost of the consumer.
4. “There is no evidence that retailers will pass savings to customers. If the bill passes, retailers will make more money on each transaction with no added benefits given to the consumer.”
Stverak stated that a similar bill passed for checking accounts zero benefits passed to the consumer, and all checking rewards programs disappeared.
5. “The passage of the bill will threaten the rewards programs many Americans depend upon to make ends meet.”
With credit card companies making less money, their ability to give cash back rewards points and benefits to their customers will disappear. The need to keep their profits from decreasing and their stock value up will give them zero wiggle room to provide any monetary benefits to their customer. Many people use their cash back reward points to offset high grocery prices and can only take family vacations because of their reward points.
If you like your current credit rewards program, Jason said to call your congressman and U.S. senators to say, “Do not make any changes. Hands off my rewards.” “If they don’t hear from you, they hear from the retailers’ lobbyists. Every member of Congress has a Twitter account; ask them to oppose the Marshall Durbin Interchange Bill. On all social platforms, you can share #HandsOffMyRewards to let all your followers, friends and family know what will happen to their credit card rewards program.”
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Congress Is Trying To Pass a Bill That Will End Credit Card Rewards Programs