Chase Cards Limited After Target Breach

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2M customers face lower purchasing, ATM allowances

At least 2 million shoppers who used debit cards at Target Corp. stores during its recent data breach are facing lower limits on how much cash they can take out of ATMs and spend at stores.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Saturday that it is notifying customers who used Chase debit cards at Target from Nov. 27 through Dec. 15 that they are now limited to cash withdrawals of $100 a day and card purchases of $300 daily. The new limit affects roughly 2 million accounts, or 10 percent of Chase debit cards, said a spokeswoman for Chase, the consumer banking business of JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets.

Chase said the move is a precaution to prevent criminals from taking money from customer accounts. Chase and other banks say they will cover unauthorized transactions that customers report.

"Banks are putting various precautions in place," Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said, declining to be specific about what the banks are doing.

Representatives for other major banks, including Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., said Saturday that their institutions take steps to protect accounts, but none described specific actions so broadly limiting to cardholders as those of Chase.

Snyder said that for the debit card Target issues, called REDcard, the company has activated a "deeper fraud-monitoring protocol." She did not describe the new steps.

Chase said in its notice to customers that it realized its move "could not have happened at a more inconvenient time with the holiday season upon us."

At Chase, the usual debit card daily limits are $200 to $500 for cash withdrawals and $500 for purchases, according to a bank spokeswoman.

"It seems like the banks are the 'Grinch who stole Christmas,' " said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog.

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