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Chase to end its debit card rewards program

Chase has confirmed its Ultimate Rewards debit card rewards program will end on July 20 as previously scheduled.

The announcement follows the Federal Reserve’s release of its final rules on the Durbin Amendment, which limits debit card interchange fees at 21 to 24 cents, according to MyBankTracker.com.

In December, the Fed had proposed a 12 cent limit to the fees, which resulted in many banks, including Chase, threatening to end rewards programs in order to recoup lost revenue.

Customers have wondered whether Chase would go through on its threat since the Fed’s ruling was less stringent than expected, according to MyBankTracker.com.

Chase eliminated free checking accounts in February and announced in March that its debit card rewards program would be terminated on July 20.

In April, Chase announced it would reinstate the rewards program if efforts in Congress to delay the Durbin Amendment by 15 months were successful. Congress did not have enough votes to delay the rule but the Fed delayed the effect date from July 21 to October 1.

Chase currently has over nine million debit card customers and held a 15 percent market share of the U.S. debit card purchase volume in 2010, according to MyBankTracker.com.

Under the new fee limits, Chase stands to lose as much as $934 million annually.

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