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Credit Cards, Debit Cards, and Gift Cards

Credit, debit, and gift cards have made the access to credit more convenient, but they come with terms and conditions that consumers should understand. Laws that went into effect in 2010 provide added protection to consumers. Read Answers about Credit Cards for more information.

Credit Card Practices

The OCC has issued guidance to national banks on credit card practices that are unacceptable because they may constitute unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The OCC has also taken a number of formal enforcement actions against national banks that have engaged in abusive practices and has required the payment of millions of dollars in restitution to customers harmed by such practices.

Debit Cards

Consumers often use debit cards similarly to credit cards, but they are very different. Debit cards take money directly from the bank account rather than borrowing money at a rate of interest, and they often use a personal identification number (PIN) instead of a signature. Because debit cards deduct the purchase amount from your account, using the card carelessly can result in overdrafts, which may result in high fees. Read more about overdraft protection.

Gift Cards

An OCC consumer advisory provides important information that shoppers should have about the terms and conditions that apply to gift cards. See OCC Offers Consumers Holiday Tips on Gift Cards (PDF), as well as Answers about Gift Cards at our HelpWithMyBank Web site. The agency also produces a variety of public service announcements to help make consumers more aware of rules and risks regarding gift cards. Read the latest public service feature (PDF) and listen to the latest (MPG).

Related News and Issuances
Publish DateIdentifierTitle
03/21/2016  NR 2016-31, Agencies Release Guidance to Issuing Banks on Applying Customer Identification Program Requirements to Holders of Prepaid Cards
04/09/2014  NR 2014-55, OCC Assesses $25 Million Penalty Against Bank of America, N.A. and FIA Card Services, N.A.; Orders $459.5 Million in Restitution to Customers for Unfair Billing Practices
11/20/2013  OCC 2013-34, OTS Policy Integration: Rescission of Office of Thrift Supervision Compliance Documents
09/19/2013  NR 2013-142, OCC Assesses $60 Million Penalty Against JPMorgan Chase, Orders Bank to Reimburse Consumers for Unfair Billing Practices
09/19/2013  NR 2013-139, OCC Takes Action Against JPMC to Protect Consumers and to Ensure Servicemembers Receive Credit Protections for Their Non-Home Loans