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WHY DEBIT MAY BE BETTER THAN CREDIT

Oct. 01, 1991
Oct. 01, 1991

Table of Contents
Oct. 1, 1991

Cover
MONEY FORECAST
MONEY UPDATE
Departments
COVER STORY

WHY DEBIT MAY BE BETTER THAN CREDIT

Next month, Visa U.S.A. is launching a new debit card, called
Interlink, which will deduct the cost of your purchases directly from
your bank account. In addition, MasterCard expects to introduce its
debit card, called Maestro, within the next year. With the marketing
muscle of these two giants behind debit cards, their use is expected
to shoot up from an estimated 192 million transactions a year now to
25 billion by the year 2000.
For consumers, the new debit cards offer a few advantages. Like
credit cards, Interlink and Maestro will eliminate both the need to
carry lots of cash and the often lengthy approval procedures when you
pay by check. Also, debit cards may help you stay on budget because
you cannot spend more money than you have or run up hefty finance
charges, as you can with credit cards.
Banks and credit unions will issue the debit cards, which will
double as automated teller cards. Although Interlink fees will vary
from issuer to issuer, they are expected to be in line with ATM
charges -- typically 25 cents per transaction.
There is one immediate drawback: so far only 4,500 retailers in
five western states accept Interlink. But nationwide, an additional
38,000 supermarkets, gas stations and other retailers, now hooked up
to regional debit-card systems, have the technology to accept the new
debit cards.

This is an article from the Oct. 1, 1991 issue

CHART: NOT AVAILABLE
CREDIT: Bank Rate Monitor
CAPTION: THE BEST CREDIT CARDS WITH ANNUAL RATES

CHART: NOT AVAILABLE
CREDIT: Bank Rate Monitor
CAPTION: THE BEST CREDIT CARDS WITHOUT ANNUAL FEES