Duo Mastercard: The New Debit & Credit Card Hybrid | CreditShout

Duo Mastercard: The New Debit & Credit Card Hybrid

By Kevin / September 6, 2011

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Fifth Third Bank has become the first US credit card issuer to launch a debit card/credit card hybrid. Users of the Duo MasterCard will have the option to pay with credit or through their checking account via debit.

But what about when the cashier asks you whether you want to pay with credit or debit? Doesn’t this mean you already have this functionality?

If this happens with your current debit card, the cashier is basically asking you if you’d rather punch in a pin number or sign for your purchase. If you select debit, you’ll punch in a pin and if you select credit, you’ll sign for it. Either way, the money comes from your checking account.

With the Duo MasterCard, customers will effectively have two separate accounts: a checking account and a credit card account. They’ll both be tied to this card and customers will receive separate statements. So, the next time you are asked “Debit or credit” it will take on greater significance if you have this card. If you wish to pay via debit, the money will be taken from your checking account. If you wish to pay via credit, the purchase will show up on your next credit card statement.

Is there a catch for this convenience? Maybe. Your checking account will have a fee of $7.50 to $15 that may be waived if you meet certain conditions. If you are accustomed to having free checking, this could be a problem. Check for the latest fees with Fifth Third Bank prior to signing up for this card if you choose to do so. Also, note that all online purchases will be counted as credit card purchases, which may be a plus or a minus, depending on your situation.

The interest rate on credit card purchases is at 0 percent for the first 12 months. This could be very useful if you happen to miss a payment during that period or intend to transfer over a balance from another card. After 12 months, the fee will increase to 13 to 24 percent, depending on your credit history.

In the end, customers who choose this card will have one less piece of plastic in their wallets. They’ll also have a credit card with no interest for 12 months. Other than that, this card will not be much different than a combination of your current debit and credit cards, but may be worthwhile if convenience is the name of your game

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone. Additionally, the opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site

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