Banks considering possible $50 spending limit on debit cards

Thursday, March 10, 2011

“Money often costs too much.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't know about you, but I've seen some pretty negative shockwaves from the banking reforms. While the new rules were supposed to help the average person by taking away or limiting certain types of fees and charges, banks have responded by using them to justify adding new charges or increasing others that weren't specifically regulated. It's not a question of poor actions on the part of the government; rather, it's the result of banks doing whatever they can to make money off of you and me.

In the latest episode from the banking drama, banks are responding to proposed legislation that would limit the amount they are allowed to charge retailers for debit card transactions. Currently they charge an average of 44 cents per transaction (which is why many smaller, mom-and-pop places have a $5 or so minimum for debit purchases) and the new regulations would cap this at 12 cents.

The banks' response? Limit debit card usage or require retailers to allow (and thus also pay for) multiple transactions by putting a very low limit on how much can be charged at one time.


"JPMorgan Chase, one of the nation's largest banks, is considering capping debit card transactions at either $50 or $100, according to a source with knowledge of the proposal."

With a $50 cap, even going out to dinner could be something where you'd have to find a new way to pay. I don't think our bank (USAA) would adopt a policy like this, but if they did I'd be the first one out the door. After all, this isn't even credit - it's my money!

You can read more about the possible changes at

How would this limit affect you?


  1. Erica C. said...:

    This would be super annoying to have a cap like that. I think a lot of people would be switching banks if certain banks started doing that.

  1. deanna said...:

    This doesn't make sense...don't businesses WANT people to spend money? Extra fees would make me either use new bank/different payment or just not buy at all.

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