The Federal Reserve's 2010 Payments Study reported that credit union members who use their debit cards at point-of-sale terminals got back more cash from their transactions than did holders of bank-issued debit cards.
The newly updated study looked at transactions from prepaid cards, debit card, credit cards, paper checks and electronic checks of both banks and credit unions from 2006 to 2009.
According to the study's findings, holders of debit cards issued by commercial banks and thrifts got back, on average, $33 and $30 respectively from point of sale terminals. Holders of credit union debit cards got back $42, the study said.
“The wider confidence interval around the estimates makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions,” the Fed reported. “[B]ut the differences in average value may reflect differential access to banking channels, such as ATMs or branches, through which cardholders can access cash at no direct cost to themselves. Faced with fewer low-cost options to access cash, some credit unions members may use debit cash back at the point of sale as a primary source of cash.”