“A Chase spokesman, Tom Kelly, declined comment, but provided a sample of a letter that was sent to customers. “Congress recently enacted a new law known as the Durbin Amendment that significantly impacts debit cards,” it read. “As a result of this law, we will be changing our debit rewards program.”
Customers who have already accumulated rewards will still be able to use them after July 19, and the bank won’t charge an annual fee any more.”
Of course, Chase is taking a calculated risk that there won’t be a delay in the Durbin Amendment implementation, as per the two recent bills introduced in Congress are asking for. One might interpret this as an indication of their opinion on the likelihood of that delay. Regardless, the fact is that rewards programs are underwritten with interchange fees and once that income base is gone, traditional programs are unsustainable.