The days of getting paid to spend money -- with debit card rewards programs -- are coming to an end for many bank customers.
That's because financial institutions are cutting these loyalty programs in response to recent federal legislation that puts a cap on debit card interchange fees, says Stephanie Cohen, a partner with LoyaltyOne Consulting, a company based in Richmond, Va., that counsels clients on customer relationship management.
Cohen says the new laws make debit transactions less profitable for card providers. "Banks have funded debit rewards programs based on interchange income," she says. So when a cap is placed on those fees, many banks will reconsider whether they can still afford to fund rewards, she says.
But if your bank informs you that your debit reward program will soon be eliminated, it doesn't mean you have to give up on the chance to earn gift cards, concert tickets and other perks. You may just have to find an alternative.
Here are some other options for banking customers who want the chance to earn points and redeem them for gifts, even if their current debit rewards program is ending.