The Company Store, Reinvented? McDonald’s Heaps Fees Onto Employee Pay, Partners with Slimy Bank JP Morgan Chase

✅ All InspiredEconomist articles and guides have been fact-checked and reviewed for accuracy. Please refer to our editorial policy for additional information.

You load 16 Big Macs, and what do you get? Another day older…and deeper in debt? 

How about this for headlines that simply can’t be true, but somehow are. McDonald’s the global megachain serving GMO-laden junk food, partners with JP Morgan Chase to pay employees not in real cash, but in debit cards that carry lots of fees? Err?

Termed “active payroll cards”, these fee-heavy debit cards issued by goliath megabanks like JP Morgan Chase take a chunk out of employee pay for things like cash withdrawals, balance inquiries, lost/stolen cards, overdrafts, and inactivity fees. Seriously. Inactivity fees. So if you use the card, you get zinged. If you don’t, you get zinged.

Though this is news to many of us, it’s not uncommon. The New York Times reported that there are roughly 4.6 million such active payroll cards issued by companies like McDonald’s.

McDonald’s widespread use of active payroll cards is just the latest sign that the company cares not a lick for its employees, customers, or the world around it. The company often lobbies against raising the minimum wage (where most of its employees languish, pay-wise), and now has more or less entered the arena of the coal companies of old, who had a “company store” at which employees can use their pay credit (not cash, mind you, which they could have used elsewhere) to buy food and sundries.

It’s a kick in the teeth to the working class to have fees added to simple conveniences like paying for stuff or withdrawing their own money, and by partnering with megabanks, McDonald’s is hurting locally owned, small banks and credit unions by basically requiring that their employees become customers of the huge banks that got us into the financial mess to begin with.

At the moment, has a petition you can sign to add your voice to this disgraceful business practice.

Sign the petition here.

My question to you, my dear beloved readers, is, will THIS be the thing that gets you to boycott McDonald’s (or for that matter JP Morgan Chase) forever? Which corporate social IRresponsibility action by McDonald’s could ever push you to never give them your money again?

As for banks, consider switching to a small locally owned bank, a green bank, or a credit union. See “Bank Transfer Day” for more info. Our company uses New Resource Bank, a certified B Corporation and the greenest bank in the world (we think), and we love them.

Photo from Shutterstock

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top