Feds order Discover to refund $200M to cardholders

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Discover Financial Services

Discover Financial Services (AP image)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Discover Bank is paying $214 million to settle charges that it pressured credit card customers to buy costly add-on services like payment protection and credit monitoring.

Federal regulators said Monday that Discover call-center workers enrolled customers in the programs without their consent, misled them about the benefits and left customers thinking the products were free.

Discover will pay a $14 million fine and refund $200 million directly to more than 3.5 million customers.

The action was taken by the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Discover said this summer that it expected an enforcement action about add-on products.

The consumer agency was created under the 2010 financial overhaul law to protect consumers from excessive or hidden fees and other financial threats.

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