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For what it says is the first time in the U.S., Fifth Third Bank says it will soon offer a new kind of account that combines debit and credit on the same plastic card. Called the Duo Card, it will allow consumers to decide at the cash register how they want to make purchases.
“The Duo Card gives these consumers the freedom to choose how to pay and access their cash without having to carry multiple cards,” Jon Groch, director of bankcard services for Fifth Third, says in a press release.
Consumers can choose to pay with debit or credit, using either a PIN or their signature. They can also use the card to get cash in three different ways; either from an ATM, from the cash register as a debit withdrawal, or from the register as a draw against their credit account.
And since the card also has a rewards programs, customers can use points earned on their purchases to help pay off loans they’ve received from the bank.
Fifth Third is right, its card is a brand-new kind of product for the American market, says Beverly Harzog, Credit.com’s credit card expert.
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“I think it’s designed to be convenient and increase customer loyalty,” Harzog says.
So does this new card make sense for you? That depends, Harzog says. On the debit side, the card comes with account fees, but those are waived for customers who keep a minimum amount of money in their accounts.
On the credit side, the card’s interest rates vary between 12.99% APR and 23.99%, based mostly on the consumer’s credit score. That’s an especially wide range, Harzog says, which means the card may be a good deal for some consumers and a bad deal for others.
“Based on what you’re looking for in a card, you need to do some research and make sure this is the right card for you, both on the debit and the credit side,” Harzog says.
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