What I’ve Got: Rewards Credit Cards

Americans have never need too much reason to consume, but here’s a new one.

Card issuing banks (like Chase, CapitalOne, and AmEx) collect an interchange fee (usually around 2%) on all transactions, and many return a large fraction of that to cardholders — sometimes as cash and sometimes as relatively liquid “points” or “miles.”

Because merchants usually “eat” the additional processing fees over cash transactions instead of passing it on in prices, customers can feel like they’re being rewarded for spending.

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