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This Isn’t Getting Cash, It’s Getting A Loan

Discover’s launched a shabby marketing campaign to persuade its customers to borrow more cash with their credit cards.

Through ads on its website and emails sent directly to cardholders, Discover is pushing the creation of a PIN number to use with its credit cards.

Discover marketing campaign

“Create a PIN for quick access to cash,” says the email, next to a graphic of fingers punching a key on what looks like an ATM keypad. “When you come face to face with unexpected expenses, Discover can help you access cash. Just personalize a pin and get cash at ATMs nationwide.”

Notice how many times it says cash?

Not even cash advance. Just cash.

This campaign clearly tries to blur the line between the cash you’d withdraw from your checking or savings account with a debit card, and the cash you’d borrow with a credit card.

This is a loan, plain and simple, and Discover ought to call it that.

It’s an expensive loan, too.

A cash advance on my Discover Cash Back account costs 23.99% APR (compared with 16.99% for purchases.)

But you won’t find that information anywhere on the screens that sign you up for a PIN, not even in the FAQ section.

Anyone who does what Discover wants, and starts using their credit card like a debit card to “access cash,” is just being foolish.

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  1. Jesse said:
    on May 5th at 12:16 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it part of the new law where credit card companies can’t charge more interest on cash advances then they do on purchases?