About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 12 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor. Bill can be contacted directly at billh@lowcards.com

A New Way to Protect Against Identity Theft

Another day and another data breach. Actually, two of them. Trump Hotel Properties and Harvard University both announced recently they had possible breaches of their databases, exposing customers and students to identity theft. Significant data breaches are happening almost every … Continue reading

Possible Data Breach at Trump Luxury Hotels

Donald Trump's line of luxury hotels may be the latest victim of a credit card data breach, according to Krebs On Security. The possible breach was discovered when some financial institutions noticed a pattern of fraudulent activity on credit and … Continue reading

CFPB Slams Two Credit Card Add-On Companies for Unfair Billing Practices

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has fined two companies, Intersections, Inc. and Affinion Group Holdings, Inc, for selling credit card add-on products to consumers, but never providing the services to the buyers. Many credit card companies work through third-party … Continue reading

Barclay Launches Apple Pay Competitor In UK

Barclaycard is trying to beat the competition by releasing a contactless payment system ahead of Apple Pay's UK launch next month. The mobile payment solution, known as bPay, comes in three forms, allowing customers to pay for transactions on the … Continue reading

Greece Shuts Down Banks, Caps ATM Withdrawals Due to Crisis

The five-year financial crisis in Greece has taken a turn for the worse, with the government shutting down banks throughout the country until Monday, July 6. Many analysts are questioning whether Greece will remain part of the 19-nation group using … Continue reading

Citi and Brooks Brothers Enter Credit Card Partnership

Today, Citi Retail Services and Brooks Brothers, the country's longest established apparel brand, announced a multi-year credit card relationship. Citi will provide private label and co-branded credit cards for the retailer. Citi currently provides private label and co-branded cards for … Continue reading

Senator Proposes Early Warning Alerts to Curtail Identity Theft

Senator Charles Schumer has proposed an idea that would help identity theft victims, and possibly limit the damage caused by these breaches. Schumer, a Democrat from New York, wants the three largest credit reporting firms--Equifax, TransUnion and Experian--to immediately send … Continue reading

International Travelers at Higher Risk of Identity Theft

International travelers experience a higher level of risk for identity theft than Americans who choose to vacation within the United States. In fact, leaving the United States could make it 1.5 times more likely to have your identity stolen than … Continue reading

Discover Closes Mortgage Sector in Favor of Direct Banking

Discover Financial has decided to close its mortgage sector to focus on its direct banking products. The transition will leave approximately 460 employees without work, though Discover will provide them with a severance package. Discover Home Loans was established in … Continue reading

Google’s Android Pay will not Collect Card Transaction Fees

When Google finally launches Android Pay, its mobile phone payment service, it will not get a cut of the interchange fees on transactions. This is drastically different than Apple Pay. When Apple Pay was introduced, banks and merchants were clamoring … Continue reading

Consumers Now Prefer Mobile Banking over Branch Banking

The banking system in America has officially reached a turning point. According to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research, more consumers prefer mobile banking over branch banking. Mobile banking is now the second leading way people access their … Continue reading

Google Receives Major Support for Android Pay

Last week, Google announced that its mobile payment platform, Android Pay, will be available on Android tablets and smartphones. In the short time since its unveiling, the Apple Pay competitor has already received substantial support from a number of large … Continue reading

New Discover Cardholders Can Double Their Cash Back Rewards

One of the better credit card rewards programs just became even more attractive. Yesterday, Discover announced that consumers who apply and are approved for eligible cards during June and July will have their cash rewards doubled at the end of … Continue reading

Capital One Venture vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Many frequent flier programs have become a source of frustration for consumers. Cardholders used to earn free flights with a specific airline's credit card by making their everyday purchases on their credit card and earning miles on that certain airline. … Continue reading

A Faster Way to Order and Pay for Your Food

OpenTable, a mobile payments platform that allows diners to pay for their meals before the check arrives, has partnered with NCR Corporation to expand its platform to even more restaurants. The "Pay with OpenTable" app will now be incorporated with … Continue reading

Credit Card Delinquencies Remain Steady, Despite 15 Million New Accounts

The latest TransUnion Industry Insights Report reveals credit card debt and delinquency rates have remained steady compared to last year, despite the addition of 15 million new card accounts in America. Delinquencies and debt in the first quarter of 2015 … Continue reading

Claim Your Missing Money Before The State Takes It

You may be the rightful owner of some unclaimed money, and retrieving it may be as easy as clicking through to a few websites and entering your name. Unclaimed money could come from forgotten utility refunds, insurance payments, abandoned savings … Continue reading

Chase, Avios Extend Partnership on British Airways Credit Card

The credit card industry has seen some shake-up with co-branded airline credit cards during 2015, such as JetBlue dropping their partnership with American Express. But one of the long-standing relationships will continue. Today, Chase and Avios announced a multi-year extension … Continue reading

Data Breaches Will Cost Over $2 Trillion by 2019

A new report predicts that data breaches will cost the global economy $2.1 trillion by 2019, almost four times more than this year. The research from market analytics firm Juniper Research indicates that sophisticated hacking tools will play a major … Continue reading

MasterCard’s Chip 360 Helps Businesses Switch to EMV

MasterCard has made a commitment to help small businesses transition to EMV credit card technology before the October, 2015 deadline. The credit card giant has launched Chip 360, a program designed to educate business owners on the steps needed for … Continue reading

Harbortouch POS Systems Incur Possible Data Breach

Harbortouch, a manufacturer of point-of-sale terminals, may be the latest company to suffer a data breach. KrebsOnSecurity reported that malware had been used to target Harbortouch POS systems, affecting approximately 4,200 of their customers which are mostly bars and restaurants. … Continue reading

Credit Card Debt Jumps in March

Consumers are borrowing once again. The latest Consumer Credit report from the Federal Reserve showed that consumer debt grew at an annual rate of 7.4% in March, which is the largest increase in 11 months. Total outstanding debt, not including … Continue reading

Chase Slate vs. Chase Freedom

Chase credit cards are some of the most attractive cards on the market. They are issued by JP Morgan Chase which is one of the largest banks in the United States. They offer a card for just about any need … Continue reading

AmEx Cannot Stop Merchants From Promoting Cheaper Cards

A federal judge has ordered American Express to adjust its merchant agreements which prohibit retailers from encouraging their customers to use credit cards with fewer transaction fees. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis could result in some better deals … Continue reading

Regions Bank Fined $7.5 Million for Unlawful Overdraft Practices

Today, Regions Bank was fined $7.5 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for unlawfully charging thousands of consumers for overdraft protection. The bank also charged overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees on its deposit advance product when they had promised … Continue reading

Chase Slate: A Good Credit Card Just Got Even Better

The Chase Slate credit card has always been rated as one of the top balance transfer cards on the market. But a number of the enhancements made to the card in March of this year make it one of the … Continue reading

Smartphone Offered with New Citi AT&T Credit Card

Today, Citi and AT&T announced a new co-branded credit card that provides cardholders a way to receive a new smartphone. The AT&T Access More Card gives cardholders a link to a special website where they purchase a smartphone at full … Continue reading

Medicare Cards Finally Remove Social Security Numbers

Life just got harder for identity thieves, thanks to some rare cooperation in Congress. Medicare has always used a person's Social Security number as their ID number in the Medicare system. They even print the Social Security number directly on … Continue reading

Consumers Slow to Adapt to Mobile Banking

Two recent reports show mobile banking may not be catching on with consumers as quickly as expected. A new survey from RateWatch reveals that 36% of Americans have never used mobile banking. The research indicates that the number of people using mobile … Continue reading

Top 10 No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

If you are going to travel overseas, you may be researching credit cards with travel rewards. But one thing many credit card shoppers overlook is the foreign transaction fee. Numerous credit cards issued in the United States charge certain fees … Continue reading

Experiment Reveals How Fast Stolen Data Spreads on the Dark Web

An experiment from BitGlass studied how stolen credit cards and Social Security numbers make their way through the Internet after a data breach. The results revealed data travels at a remarkable speed and showed just how poor detection efforts have been … Continue reading

Consumers Prefer Online and Mobile Banking over Branch Banking

According to a new survey, consumers in the United States and the UK prefer mobile and online banking over branch and telephone banking. BioCatch surveyed 600 consumers from the top five banks in both countries and found that 36% preferred … Continue reading

White Lodging Confirms Hotels Hit by Second Data Breach

Hotel management company White Lodging Services has confirmed a second data breach on its credit card system, affecting 10 hotels, eight of which were Marriott hotels. The original security breach took place in 2014. According to the company, this breach … Continue reading

Top 7 Travel Credit Cards for 2015

Summer is right around the corner and people are already planning their getaways. Traveling can be quite expensive, which is why so many people have to cut back on their vacations. But with the right credit card rewards program, you … Continue reading

Protecting Your Child Against Identity Theft

Stealing a child's Social Security number is one of the biggest prizes for an identity thief. Children have no credit files and, since parents rarely suspect anything, these stolen numbers can normally be used for years. A sad example of this … Continue reading

Square Adds “Open Tickets” to Help Barkeepers with Open Tabs

"Just put it on my tab," a simple phrase that can lead to big tips for bartenders at the end of a night. Managing tabs for a number of clients can be a hassle for a business owner, especially if … Continue reading

Some Significant Shifts in the Credit Industry

A new survey shows some noteworthy shifts taking place in the credit industry. Rejection rates for credit applications are declining and more consumers plan to apply for credit during the next 12 months. The New York Federal Reserve's Survey of … Continue reading

PoSeidon Malware Program Attacks Point of Sale Terminals

Many of the data breaches that wreaked havoc on major retailers during the past 18 months were caused by malware in the point of sale systems. Now, a stronger and more damaging malware program has been uncovered. The network company … Continue reading

Smartphones Now Account for 1/3 of Online Shopping Traffic

There is a significant shift in the way people research and buy products online--more and more consumers are using mobile devices rather than personal computers. Smartphones accounted for 34% of the worldwide online shopping traffic and 16% of eCommerce orders … Continue reading

One in Four Consumers Willing to Pay for Mobile Banking

Mobile banking apps are becoming an increasingly important feature in the financial industry, and for the most part, they are completely free to use. However, new data from SNL Financial indicates one in four consumers would pay for mobile banking if … Continue reading

Top 7 No Annual Fee Credit Cards Of 2015

There are plenty of different credit cards on the market, many with tempting offers and rewards, so it can be hard to figure out which card is best for you. Some credit card companies charge a fee when you are … Continue reading

Big Changes at the Three Major Credit Bureaus

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion track consumer credit information on almost every person in the United States. This information is put into a database and also calculated into a credit score that is used to determine what interest rate you will … Continue reading

CFPB Wants Public’s Input on Credit Card Industry

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is requesting public input on how the credit card market is operating. This is part of a required review which must be conducted every two years according to the CARD Act of 2009. The Request for … Continue reading

New Changes to Credit Reports Should Benefit Consumers

On Monday, the three largest credit reporting agencies reached an agreement with the New York Attorney General to change the way consumers can dispute errors on their credit reports. As a result, disputing a mistake on your credit report could … Continue reading

Apple Watch will be Fully Integrated with Apple Pay

Apple released more details today on Apple Watch at a publicity event in Cupertino, California. There were a multitude of new features that were detailed, the most exciting of which may be the integration with Apple Pay. The Apple Watch … Continue reading

CFPB May Reform Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Credit Card Agreements

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may issue a report this week on how limited consumers are when they want to take action against their credit card company, according to the Washington Post. The current system of mandatory arbitration prevents customers … Continue reading

Mandarin Oriental Hotels Suffer Credit Card Data Breach

Mandarin Oriental Hotels is investigating a credit card breach that took place at some of its upscale hotels. The data breach likely occurred on payment terminals at restaurants and other businesses inside the hotels rather than the front desk, according … Continue reading

Recent Stories & News

A New Way to Protect Against Identity Theft

A New Way to Protect Against Identity Theft

Another day and another data breach. Actually, two of them. Trump Hotel Properties and Harvard Un[...]
LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 2, 2015

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 2, 2015

The Postal Service Wants You to Bank at Your Post Office Elizabeth Warren would like to change the [...]
Delaware Bank Launches Card-Free ATM Machine

Delaware Bank Launches Card-Free ATM Machine

WSFS Bank, a small financial institution in Wilmington, Delaware, has launched a new ATM that does n[...]
The LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report for July 2, 2015

The LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report for July 2, 2015

The LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report is based on our Complete Credit Card Index which tra[...]
Possible Data Breach at Trump Luxury Hotels

Possible Data Breach at Trump Luxury Hotels

Donald Trump's line of luxury hotels may be the latest victim of a credit card data breach, accordin[...]
CFPB Slams Two Credit Card Add-On Companies for Unfair Billing Practices

CFPB Slams Two Credit Card Add-On Companies for Unfair Billing Practices

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has fined two companies, Intersections, Inc. and Aff[...]
PayRange Brings Mobile Wallet Technology to Outdated Vending Machines

PayRange Brings Mobile Wallet Technology to Outdated Vending Machines

A new product from PayRange can turn any old vending machine into a "smart" vending machine, so vend[...]