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Is it best to shop with cash, credit or debit?

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Life comes with many choices. Fresh or frozen? Blonde or brunette? Creamy or chunky? Republican or Democrat? Paper or plastic?

That last choice covers two completely different situations. Should you choose paper orplastic bags when shopping, and should you pay for the items going in whichever type of bag you choose with paper money or a plastic card? And if you choose plastic, should you go with creditor debit? Life is nothing if not a flurry of decisions.


5 Things You'll Want to Know Today

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Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

• If oil prices fall by 25 percent or more, as some analysts predict they will next year, most Americans would cheer. But there's a downside to $70 a barrel oil: At that price, it would become too expensive to pump the crude out of Texas' Permian Basin, the second-richest oil field left in the world, thus derailing a $5 trillion energy boom. Joe Carroll and Edward Klump of Bloomberg explain what that means to us.


Prepaid Cards Go Mainstream

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Once banished to birthday gifts and rebuilding credit, prepaid debit and credit cards are building a growing fan base. Consumers irritated by bank fees are turning to prepaid debit cards as an alternative method of payment. Others are choosing to forego bank accounts all together and only use prepaid cards. Parents of teens have started doling out cash on prepaid debit cards instead of handing over cash or mom and dad’s credit.


Debit Rewards Card Programs Becoming Extinct

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JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and SunTrust have all made the decision to eliminate rewards card programs. Customers received letters notifying them of the change. Banks argue that the new restrictions on "swipe fees" are forcing them to dismantle rewards programs. SunTrust's brief letter explained to customers that the bank was forced to end client rewards due to the financial impact of new federal regulations, though swipe fees weren't specifically mentioned. The banking industry also maintains the new federal regulations on swipe fees are what prompted the hike in ATM fees, up to $5 in some areas. 


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