After the CTA announced last week it was dropping some fees related to the debit card portion of the new Ventra fare card, a card rating service gave Ventra a better review than it had earlier.
Changes noted by the CTA last Friday:
- Ventra debit card will be able to withdraw cash for free at more than 1,000 ATMs in the Chicago area.
- Additionally, Ventra will offer free live customer-service calls for prepaid debit card inquiries; calls to an automated number and online account inquiries also will be free.
The CTA also noted that it will waive the $5 fee to buy a Ventra card through the end of the year. And some other fees were lowered: $5 instead of $6 to receive a balance-refund check and $1 instead of $2 to receive a monthly paper statement, says the Tribune.
That same Tribune story notes that NerdWallet.com, the credit card comparison website, says that with these changes, the average Ventra debit card user will pay $95 in fees. That's almost a 50 percent reduction from previous estimates of $188 in fees. In NerdWallet's words: "the card's actually not bad (now)."
Well, that's not a glowing endorsement, but we're headed in the right direction.
Actually, for those who already have a contactless debit card, I suggest just using that to pay your CTA fares starting in late summer and forget about the Ventra. Who needs another card clogging up their purse or wallet.