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Marc Rubinstein

Credit-Card Rewards Aren't Free. Shoppers Don't Care.

The US has some of the highest fees in the world for using plastic on purchases.

Visa To Release Third Quarter Earnings
Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images North America

The US credit-card market is the oldest and largest in the world. It’s also the least regulated and most expensive. In other countries, policy makers keep card companies in check by setting price caps or by funding public sector alternatives. The result is lower prices. In the US, credit-card fees stand at between 1.3% and 2.7% of transaction value; in Europe, they are as low as 0.3%.

Dick Durbin, the senior senator from Illinois, wants to change that. Last week, alongside Kansas Republican Roger Marshall, he unveiled the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022. “It’s time to inject real competition into the credit card network market, which is dominated by the Visa-Mastercard duopoly,” he said.