Due to the impending Durbin Amendment many banks have resorted to restructuring their fee-systems and altering their product options—JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is no exception.
Back in mid-March we reported Chase’s move to end the Debit Card Ultimate Rewards Program caused an uproar by many angry customers. Our own article was inundated with angry customers leaving comments such as:
“-the rewards is the only reason I stayed with Chase. We’ll be closing the account after July.” – WTBeals
That is such a bad business move as the people who make the most rewards points also have the most money and most expenses in their accounts. They will lose all of their best customers. – Brain B.
“Really disappointed! Recently switched checking accounts to Chase…because of the rewards program…sorry I ever switched to Chase.” – Karen
Whether or not the backlash influenced Chase’s next step is hard to say, but the bank did decide to reinstate its Debit Rewards Program almost three weeks after the initial announcement.
The Future of Chase Debit Card Rewards
After the initial cancellation announcement, Chase lost thousands of customers, but the ones who stayed were rewarded for their loyalty. The question is; How long will the loyalty pay off?
Chase’s reasoning behind their flip-flop policy changes is attributed to the unpredictability of when the Durbin Amendment will actually be enforced. The Bank made the decision to reinstate directly after an announcement was made to delay the April 21 deadline.
Although Chase was attempting to salvage customers, the Rewards Program reversal may turn out to be a bad move in the end. The Durbin Amendment implementation deadline may have been pushed back, but the truth of the matter is that the rules still exist. Customers are likely to be angrier and even more frustrated due Chase’s constant changes.
Unfortunately, if you are a Chase customer that is considering switching banks, going to another bank similar in structure is not a very prudent choice. Most big banks, and some already, will partake in similar program cuts related to the Durbin Amendment in the near future.
A few other large lenders that made the cuts and have decided to stick to them include Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and SunTrust (NYSE:STI). Considering Chase was so quick to get rid of this program because of the Durbin Amendment, there is no reason that they will do it more permanently in the future.
Chase Credit Card Ultimate Rewards Still Available
If you are a big fan of the Ultimate Rewards program but are worried about the changes coming to the debit cards, Chase is still offering it to credit card holders. The Chase Freedom® Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Credit Card and the Ink Business Credit Card all offer Chase Ultimate Rewards with purchase.
Another section of Chase’s product services that took a hit this year due to federal regulations are the Chase Checking Products. To see a comparison of the old fees check out New Chase Checking Fees in 2011.