Disappearing (Citi) Debit Cards

Disappearing (Citi) Debit Cards

Earlier this year, Chase stopped awarding miles for its co-branded United and Continental debit cards on July 12. Now cardholders of Citibank AAdvantage debit cards will no longer be able to earn miles for debit card purchases effective Dec. 9, 2011. AAdvantage debit cardholders will be sent a new debit card to replace your AAdvantage card and if you paid the AAdvantage debit card rewards annual fee, you will receive a prorated credit to your linked checking account in December.

Bottom line: It looks as though debit card rewards program are on their way out but some debit cards are still available. US Airways offers a mileage-earning Bank of America debit card and if you sign up by Nov. 14, 2011, it will count as a hit in the Grand Slam promotion. The annual fee is $30 and new cardholders earn 3,000 bonus miles for signing up plus one mile for every $2 spent on the card. Alaska Airlines also offers a co-branded Bank of America debit card with a $30 annual fee. Delta SkyMiles members can still earn miles with SunTrust debit cards with annual fees of $20 and a 2,500-mile bonus and $55 and a 5,000-mile bonus.

But don’t expect these debit card rewards programs to be around for much longer. With the new legislation that went into effect Oct. 2 that limits the interchange fees banks can charge merchants for debit cards, more banks will drop debit card rewards programs, including those offering miles for purchases, or add fees for debit card usage. Bank of America recently announced it would begin charging customers $5 a month each month they use their debit card to make a purchase starting in 2012.

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