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Fifth Third Bank to Release DuoMasterCard

Friday, October 28, 2011

Debit and credit: they`re both plastic, why not consolidate them? The Cinncinati-based Fifth Third Bank, is the first to offer the DuoMasterCard which consolidates both a checking and a credit card account into one card. Cardholders would get separate monthly statements for each of the two accounts, but only hold onto one card.

Currently, if you purchase an item with a card, you must select either 'credit' or 'debit'. If you select 'credit' when using a debit card, the money will still be taken out of your checking account. If you swipe a credit card, and asked for it to be used as a debit charge, the money will be deducted from your credit card balance.

This isn`t the case with the new Duo card. With this one card, you can choose to pay from the balance of both accounts. Consumers who do have the Duo, will see that the card is linked to both a checking account and to a separate credit card account.

The Duo is good news for the consumer attempting to trim their wallet of excess credit cards, and for the consumer who cares about the environment. The Duo makes it easier for consumers to have the same number of accounts open, but with fewer cards. If the credit card issuers catch on to this trend, it could mean less credit card printing, and a move in that direction would been less plastic consumption, and would ultimately be better for the environment.

Many consumers find the idea of joining their checking and credit accounts into a single card a great relief for their wallets, but it`s also a good way for banks to increase customer loyalty. The card encourages consumers to have both a checking and credit card account at the issuing bank. When using the card, customers would no longer be allowed to use their signature as verification for in store debit purchases. Only credit card transactions would require a signature, and also all online purchases would be marked as credit.

So far, Fifth Third is premier distributor of the card. After signing up, consumers should know that the interest rate starts at zero percent, but after a year, the interest rate jumps to somewhere in between 13 and 24 percent, depending on the consumer`s credit history.

The card can also be used to withdrawal money from ATMs. Be warned though, Fifth Third bank customers can be charged fees ranging from $7.50 to $15 for using an outside ATM. But, Fifth Third will waive some of these fees if customers meet a minimum balance.

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