A Republican pro-business group is rejecting an attempt by Congress to “ban” credit card rewards points.
By launching a seven-figure ad campaign opposing the proposed “points ban” contained in the Credit Card Competition Act, American Free Enterprise Action (AmFree Action) aims to educate the public as well as lawmakers, about the ramifications of the measure. .
Set in the fictional town of “Point Less, Kansas,” the ads released this month highlight residents whose livelihoods have been affected by the loss of credit card rewards points, a fate the group concludes will soon it could be a reality for millions of Americans if the legislation becomes law.
The three ads depict a variety of scenarios for people forced to live without credit card rewards points, including a local hotel and airport that have apparently been abandoned by travelers and guests.
SOME CONSUMERS USE CREDIT CARD REWARDS TO PAY FOR ESSENTIALS AMID HIGH INFLATION
“Would you like to live in a world without dots?” the narrator asks before introducing each scenario in two 30-second spots.
Another extended ad posted by the group, running for almost five minutes and titled “Point Less America”, gives an overview of the city and its fights with no reward points “of any kind”.
Featured in the ads is the town’s fictional mayor, “Little Aaron Abbotson”, who is re-elected “every year thereafter” because “even without points, someone has to win.”
Additionally, the long-form ad features a candy store and restaurant struggling to hold on due to the loss of rewards points and benefits from credit card companies.
DICK DURBIN IS COMING FOR HIS CREDIT CARD REWARDS
The ads are scheduled to run nationwide over the next few weeks on streaming platforms like Hulu and Roku, social media, YouTube, Reddit, and more.
“Millions of American families and businesses rely on their credit card benefits to travel, eat, shop and receive cash back,” said Gentry Collins, executive director of the American Free Enterprise Chamber of Commerce. “The Credit Card Competition Act would strip American consumers of billions of dollars a year in benefits, resulting in less travel and less spending. It would also hurt the millions of American small business owners and local towns who more depend on these benefits.
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, along with co-sponsor Republican Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas, introduced the Credit Card Competition Act in the Senate in late July.
According to a summary of the measure, the bill works to “address network access and competition in electronic credit transactions.”
“The bill generally prohibits credit card issuers from restricting the number of payment card networks in which an electronic credit transaction can be processed,” the summary states. “Specifically, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System should prohibit certain credit card issuers with assets of more than $100 billion from restricting the number of networks on which credit card transactions can be processed to one network , two or more networks operated by affiliated networks or individuals, or the two networks with the largest market share of issued credit cards”.
In addition, the measure establishes that “credit card issuers are prohibited from imposing certain limitations on the routing of electronic credit transactions, such as penalties for failing to meet a specific threshold of transactions on a particular payment card network.”
Although there is no mention of eliminating credit card rewards or points in the text of the measure, Alex Sanchez, president and CEO of the Florida Bankers Association, argued in a Fox Business op-ed that the The bill, if signed into law, “would effectively eliminate consumers’ choice by allowing retail chains to route their customers’ transactions through the cheapest credit card network, regardless of security capabilities or reward offers.
“In a free market economy, customers select credit cards based on a variety of factors, including the benefits and protections they offer. And they assume that those benefits and protections will be honored every time they use their credit card to make a purchase, but while that is the case today, the [bill] would allow retailers to bypass their customers’ preferred networks, the ones where their card’s rewards, benefits and security protections are attached, to select the least expensive and likely least secure network,” Sanchez said.
Proponents of the measure, however, say the bill would have no impact on credit card rewards.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT FOX BUSINESS
“The most widespread claims are that the CCCA would somehow rob consumers of their credit card rewards and that the bill could put credit card security at risk. Neither is true.” , Mario H. Lopez, President of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, he said in a recent op-ed for The Hill.
“First, the CCCA components have nothing to do with rewards, which are actually entirely determined by the banks that issue the cards, not the networks that process the transactions,” he added. “The CCCA does not change that structure. In addition, the $11 billion in projected savings from magnetic transfer fees is less than 10 percent of the $138 billion in annual revenue from magnetic transfer fees, leaving plenty of room for cost.” rewards and still doesn’t threaten huge profits for the credit card giants.”