Credit-Card Rewards Programs Examined by U.S. Consumer Bureau

November 15, 2013
credit card news
Concerned that customers may be misled when they enroll in complex credit-card reward programs, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could consider new rules in this area. Restrictions on card rewards programs could hinder the ability of top issuers such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and American Express to use the enticements to pull customers in. The bureau's inquiry involves the marketing of rewards programs -- particularly the marquee promise of a given card, such as cash back or redeemable airline miles, and what a customer must do to receive it -- said a person involved in the matter. That source also indicated that the CFPB inquiry is not driven by a spurt of consumer complaints but rather by the simple fact that rewards are the primary reason why borrowers select a particular card. "To what degree does something have to be a problem before we take a look at it," said Consumers Union senior policy counsel Pamela Banks, who supports the CFPB probe. "We should identify trends early."

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