Editor's note: This story is continually updated with new information.
With lawmakers threatening to intensify the risk of an Oct. 1 government shutdown over the fiscal year 2024 spending bill, the Credit Card Competition Act — which has the potential to significantly negatively alter, if not completely eliminate, the world of credit card that we know today — may face a vote.
Last week, Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., threatened to attach his bill to the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act and risk thwarting movement on the $280 billion overall government funding package if the Senate fails to vote on his bill to crack down on credit card swipe fees, per Politico.
If enacted, the proposed legislation could dramatically change the rewards ecosystem. It could hurt your ability to collect (and redeem) points and miles toward travel or earn cash back that can offset some of your everyday spending.
Here at TPG, we teach you to maximize your rewards so that you can earn as many as 3 points per dollar when dining out, 4 points per dollar on groceries and 5 points per dollar when booking airfare.
Leveraging these rewards and the perks on popular credit cards gives you the ability to travel more frequently — or in greater comfort — and discover the world. It can also mean more cash in your pocket, a better airport experience and the benefit of purchase protections that don't exist with other payment methods.
This could all change if this bill is approved.
To help answer your questions about the proposed piece of legislation, we've put together this primer that outlines what the bill would do and how it would potentially affect travelers and your hard-earned rewards.
The Credit Card Competition Act originated when Marshall and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., introduced it July 28, 2022. They later attempted to include it as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Neither effort gained much traction in Congress.
On June 7, 2023, Marshall and Durbin reintroduced the bill at a press conference with largely the same structure. They were joined by Sens. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, as well as Reps. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.
As its name implies, the proposed legislation aims to inject more competition into the credit card industry to lower the fees merchants pay whenever shoppers swipe their credit cards.
If enacted, the law would amend the Electronic Fund Transfer Act by directing the Federal Reserve to require credit card-issuing banks to offer a minimum of two networks for merchants processing electronic credit card transactions. It even specifically prohibits these two networks from being those with the largest market
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This Saturday, October 14, a solar eclipse will be seen across the Americas. From inside a 125 miles wide path stretching across the U.S. Southwest and on to Central and South America, a “ring of fire” will be glimpsed for a few minutes as a smaller-looking new moon covers only the middle 90% of the sun.
A “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse is coming to Texas and you don’t have much time left to make a plan. On October 14, 2023, the 125 miles wide path of the “ring of fire” solar eclipse will surge across the Lone Star state between 11:41 a.m. CDT and 12:00 p.m. CDT, according to GreatAmericanEclipse.com, with a long partial solar eclipse either side.
For fans of nostalgia TV as well as avid animal and travel lovers, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom is back in a big way. Sixty years ago, this beloved show innovated the nature adventure genre, enthralled viewers with its global destinations, won multiple Emmy Awards and galvanized conservation goals and gains. It offered an eagerly anticipated, families-gathered, weekly gaze at creatures in far-flung locales to a television audience that averaged 34-million Americans for much of its initial, astonishingly lengthy 25-year run. Between then and now, weaving through subsequent decades, Wild Kingdom had been transformed again and again, showcased on Animal Planet and as a web series. Now there is a fresh fourth project, the all-new Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Protecting the Wild, which will premiere October 7 on NBC-TV (as part of its “The More You Know” programming block on Saturday mornings), as well as via NBC.com and NBC VOD. It is co-hosted by wildlife expert Peter Gros (who joined the original series in 1985) and wildlife ecologist Rae Wynn-Grant, Ph.D., a National Geographic Society research fellow and host of the PBS podcast Going Wild. Currently primed for 26 episodes set in North America, Wild Kingdom Protecting the Wild kicks off with journeys to California’s super-parched Mojave Desert for desert-dwelling tortoises, the Maine Coast for Atlantic puffins (nicknamed “parrots of the sea” because of their colorful triangular beaks), the Florida Coast for aqua-agile manatees and Austin, Texas, for high-soaring-quick-swooping Mexican free-tailed bats. I reached out to Gros and Wynn-Grant to share their behind-the-scenes insights and inspirations, as they forge modern Wild Kingdom paths, while still applauding the footsteps of legendary zoologists Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler, who, as co-hosts of the documentary show’s dawn in 1963, put this legacy wildlife wonderland on the map.
The year’s supermoon bonanza may be behind us, but the sky has a host of stargazing treats in store this October. Get ready for two meteor showers, bright planet sightings, and arguably the most anticipated astronomical event of the year: the annular solar eclipse come mid-month.
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