Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Good reasons to avoid CTA Ventra debit card

If you are giving any thought whatsoever to venturing into the debit card land of Ventra and the CTA, you would be well-advised to read today article in the Chicago Tribune by Jon Hilkevitch.

First of all, if you should happen to hear the phrase "This will be good for you" from the CTA, your guard ought to go up and you'd better get a hand over your wallet.

Debit card users have become accustomed to "some" fees, but the list in the Chicago Tribune article is ridiculous!

$2.00 for paper copy of transactions
$2.00 to call customer service, deemed a "Operator Assisted Telephone Inquiry"
$10.00 PER HOUR for an Account Research Fee. ("Sir, I'll have to put you on a brief (heh-heh) hold while I access your account. Enjoy the music...")
$5.00 PER MONTH dormancy fee, after 18 months
$2.00 per month is card if no retail purchases or money transfers after 18 months
$2.95 to reload your card via the internet (unless you use a credit card)
$1.50 service fee for ATM transactions

The CTA says to read the fine print. Yeah? Do you suppose they read the 1,000-page contract with Ventra before they signed it?

See the fee chart here.

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