JPMorgan Chase (JPM) has won another battle with a rival credit card issuer over the marketing of card rewards programs.
In a case Chase brought against Bank of America (BAC), a watchdog group that monitors accuracy in advertising has ruled that B of A's claims about the cash rewards available to some of its credit card customers are unclear and should be disclosed more prominently.
The non-binding decision was announced Thursday by the National Advertising Division, a self-regulatory body that companies often enlist to settle marketing disputes. It marks JPMorgan Chase's third successful challenge this year of a competitor's credit-card advertising claims.
B of A said in a statement released by the self-regulatory organization that it disagrees with the group's conclusion, but will nonetheless take the ruling into account in its future advertising. The Charlotte-based bank had earlier revised the specific advertising at issue.
The dispute involved ads for Bank of America's "1-2-3 Cash Rewards Credit Card."
B of A advertised "1% Cash Back on all purchases, 2% total cash back on purchases of groceries, and 3% cash back on purchases of gas." The 2% and 3% bonus rewards are subject to a $1,500 aggregate quarterly spending limit, and Chase argued that this caveat was inadequately disclosed.
B of A contended that the spending cap was disclosed, and also noted that only a small minority of its customers ever hit the $1,500 limit.
But the self-regulatory body concluded that the $1,500 spending cap on bonus rewards would affect people's decisions about whether to apply for the card, and recommended that B of A disclose its existence in a clearer way.
Earlier this year, Chase won favorable rulings from the self-regulatory group after challenging credit-card ad claims made by Capital One (COF) and Discover (DFS). In 2010, Chase agreed to change some of its credit-card marketing after being challenged by American Express (AXP).