Many banks are altering their debit card rewards programs to implement monthly or annual fees in order to earn points. While a few bucks may not sound like much to keep racking up your prized rewards points, fees typically add up more quickly than points or cash back.
"The fees on a debit rewards program can be a very high hurdle to clear," McBride says.
Consider McBride's example of a consumer paying a $5 monthly debit card fee with a rewards payout of 0.5 percent. In this case, the first $1,000 of spending each month would go toward offsetting the $5 fee.
If an account holder is spending a large amount each month on a debit card, using a credit card instead may make more sense. The higher rewards ratio will prove to be more rewarding. There also may be more incentive to enroll in a credit card rewards program and to pay off any existing credit card debt, McBride says.