Entries in Rewards (2)


Banks Deleting Debit Card Rewards Plans

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The love affair Americans have had with their debit cards for years may be screeching to a halt.

First came the news from Bank of America that it would begin charging some customers $5 a month for purchases made using debit cards.  The company said the surcharge was necessary because of new regulations imposed by Congress to reduce their charges to merchants for processing debit cards.

Now, banks are giving the same reason for doing away with one of its most popular perks: money-back for using debt cards.

This rewards program is based on revenue sharing.  Since the banks will be getting less money from merchants, there will be less revenue to share with customers.

In just the past year alone, there's been a 30 percent drop in the availability of debit rewards programs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Southwest, JetBlue Offer Best Frequent Flier Programs

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Signed up for an airline rewards program and hoping to turn your hard-won miles into a free seat? If you're a U.S. traveler, you'll have the best chance if you're a member of Southwest Airlines reward program "Rapid Rewards."

The airline was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 2 in the world by the ezRez Reward Seat Availability Survey for finding a seat. Travelers in Southwest's program have a 99.3 percent chance of getting a reward seat when they want one, living up to the airline's promise of "unlimited rewards seats and no blackout dates."

In a survey based on 6,720 booking queries competitors, Delta Air Lines and U.S. Airways didn't fare as well. The two carriers were at the bottom for free seats using a frequent fliers rewards program – ranking 23 and 24, respectively.

Travelers signed up for Delta Airlines "SkyMiles" program had a 27.1 percent chance of finding a seat and US Airways "Dividend Miles" members had it even tougher, with a 25.7 percent chance of locating a free seat.

On the other hand, low-fare airlines fared well in the survey with GOL, a low-cost Brazilian airline, ranking number one. The carriers rounding out the top 5 included Air Berlin, Virgin Australia, and Singapore Airlines.

There was some good news for U.S. travelers. Passengers that are a part of JetBlue's TrueBlue reward program have a 79.3 percent chance of finding a reward seat. Other carriers, like United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and American Airlines were scattered around the list. United Airlines had a total availability rate of 71.4 percent and American Airlines had a 62.9 percent availability rate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio