Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Credit/debit - rules for using your plastic change

by Patt Morrison

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A photo illustration shows a debit card being swiped at a Wachovia Bank. TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

We may be poised to see some changes in how we pay our bills. The ubiquitous plastic cards that can solve your every payment problem are currently being faced with two recent propositions. One, Anthem Blue Cross may be implementing a 15 dollar convenience charge to clients who elect to pay with debit or credit cards. In the absence of any real explanation, critics are seeing this as an obvious money grab. Meanwhile and conversely, the Senate voted today 54-45 in favor of reducing debit card swipe fees. Some politicians have voiced concern that small banks would have to hike prices in other areas, like checking fees, to break even. Others can muster little pity for America’s financial institutions, the majority of which will be hurt little by the proposed cuts. Tune in and find out about the changes being made to what’s in your wallet!

Guests:

Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for U.S. Public Interest Research Group, which is CALPIRG’s D.C. office

Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com

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