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Durbin Amendment leads banks to trade in debit rewards in favor of travel rewards

180px-National_Bank_OamaruBanks have refocused attention on travel rewards cards as a result of the Durbin Amendment cap on debit interchange fees.

U.S. Bank plans to increase introductory bonus points on its FlexPerks Travel Rewards card for the second time in the last year. JPMorgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America have also launched new credit card promotions, according to MarketWatch.

The banks are offering extra miles or points to customers who sign up for the rewards card program, but in order to receive the rewards, customers are required to spend a designated amount within the first few weeks of receiving the card.

While some customers intend to spend more, the increased rewards are not a value for other customers because the interest charges range between 10 percent and 24 percent, which may exceed the accrued miles or points.

U.S. Bank plans to increase introductory bonus points on its FlexPerks Travel Rewards card for the second time in the last year. JPMorgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America have also launched new credit card promotions, according to MarketWatch.

Experts say that the new rewards programs are a response to recent regulations, the Durbin Amendment in particular. The Dodd-Frank provision lowered the amount a bank receives from merchants when a customer uses a debit card, though the measure does not affect credit cards, leading banks to reduce debit offerings and ramp up credit card rewards programs. Some banks have also said that they hope to attract more affluent customers, who tend to utilize travel rewards programs more than other customers.