After more Ventra changes, debit card gets better review

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.

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  • I always take the endorsement from someone named "Nerd Card." :-)

    Anyway, I concur with your last paragraph. The only thing not clear at the moment as how that syncs up with the RTA giving out half fare cards based on the Ventra system.

  • In reply to jack:

    or Nerd Wallet. Whatever. :-(

  • I knew they would dump the Ventra fee at the beginning as they did dump the Chicago Card fee several times over the years.

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    Anyone know when Ventra will come online? I'm actually looking forward to using the new card.

    My traditional fare card got eaten by one of the turnstile machines today... definitely a first. :-/

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