American Express has launched a new campaign to pit its charge cards against debit cards. The strategy hits as the industry cuts merchant fees and adds cardholder fees to debit card products. The AmEx “Swipe It” campaign encourages consumers to charge everyday expenses to help stay on budget and to avoid debit card fees and potential interest charges. AmEx also promotes its online access and detailed monthly statements as expense-control tools. The new campaign comes on the heels of an extensive re-pricing in the debit card market. VISA and MasterCard have been forced to reduce off-line debit card interchange by more than 30%. The card associations are also, reportedly, in the midst of negotiating further cuts in debit card fees with individual major merchants. As of January 1st, merchants have the right to stop accepting VISA and MasterCard off-line debit cards. Consumers have also been drawn in the debit card restructuring. Some banks have already begun charging fees for PIN POS debit card transactions. As of December 1st, MD-based Mercantile Bankshares Corporation is charging a 30 cents per PIN POS debit card transaction. NC-based BB&T is charging its customers a $2 per month inactivity fee if they do not make at least one off-line POS debit card transaction each month.