Card Add-on Products Stage a Comeback

May 8, 2013
Fox Business 
credit card news

Credit card "add-on" products suffered from regulatory restrictions last year; but analysts say they could bounce back, with tighter marketing pitches and lower prices. Payment protection, or debt protection, usually cost less than 1 percent of the card's monthly balance and typically cancels minimum payments on a card for a certain length of time after an emergency, such as job loss. Other such products include identity theft protection and credit monitoring services. A Government Accountability Office report in 2011 revealed that consumers received only 21 cents in benefits for each $1 spent on debt protection in 2009. The finding prompted several class-action lawsuits, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau started issuing penalties for the way add-on products were marketed. Now, however, add-ons may be making a comeback. Discover Card plans to resume marketing add-ons, possibly later this year. Wells Fargo currently is offering "credit defense" payment protection and identity theft services after moving toward in-house marketing and lower pricing. Smaller card issuers, especially credit unions, still offer payment protection plans, with rates typically of about 90 cents per $100 of the monthly balance.
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