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

Amazon Abandons Its Mobile Wallet

Amazon Wallet, Amazon's entry into the growing mobile wallet industry, has been discontinued after only being on the market since July. The app stored loyalty and gift cards in digital wallets on Android and Fire phones. But unlike other mobile … Continue reading

A Truly “Green” Credit Card Hits The Market

Credit card issuers have marketed their cards to specific target audiences for years. Frequent fliers, bookworms, NFL fans, home fixer-uppers, students, travelers, NASCAR fans....and now, people concerned about climate change. Today, a biodegradable MasterCard that helps combat climate change hit … Continue reading

Mobile Payments Quickly Changing the Transaction Industry

Mobile payments are no longer just a trendy way to make a payment. They are quickly becoming the major force in the transaction industry. According to a report from Business Insider, mobile payment volume in the United States is projected … Continue reading

President Wants Laws on Student Privacy, Hacking Notification

The rash of data breaches has tested the patience of the President of the United States. Yesterday, President Barack Obama took steps to counter identity theft by calling for laws to protect the personal data of students and require notification … Continue reading

College Credit Card Agreements Decline As More Debit Card Deals Emerge

The Consumer Federal Protection Bureau recently reported a nearly 70% decline in college credit card agreements since Congress established regulations for disclosures in 2009. Educational institutions are now forced to be completely transparent when offering credit cards to students, and it seems … Continue reading

Major Data Breaches of 2014

A year ago, the country was rocked by the Target data breach. Previously, consumers rarely thought about the security on their credit or debit cards. But all that changed when Target reported that 40 million debit and credit card numbers had … Continue reading

Possible Credit Card Breach at Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A today acknowledged it is investigating reports of unusual activity involving debit and credit cards used at some of their restaurants. Initial reports indicate this may have affected up to 9,000 customers and may be concentrated in stores located in … Continue reading

69% of Small Businesses Not Ready for Chip-and-PIN Transition

A new study about the transition to chip-and-PIN credit cards reveals 69% of small and mid-sized businesses do not think they will be able to meet the October 2015 deadline for switching to EMV terminals. These EMV terminals are required … Continue reading

How to Recover from Holiday Credit Card Debt

Holiday shopping is a wonderful experience, until the credit card bills start rolling in. Once the joy of the giving has passed, you stare at the painful task of paying the bills. There are several ways to recover from holiday credit card … Continue reading

Bebe Confirms Credit Card Data Breach

Bebe Stores Inc., a women's clothing retailer, has officially confirmed a data breach at its stores during the month of November. The breach is expected to impact shoppers from the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who … Continue reading

Save Coupons to Your Credit Card with “Twitter Offers”

Twitter is launching a new program that allows users to store discounts and coupons on their credit cards. Twitter Offers can convert Promoted Tweets, the ads that appear in a users stream, to coupons which users can save to their credit … Continue reading

New Year’s Credit Card Resolutions

We're approaching another new year, which means we all have a chance to focus and fix areas of our life with some New Year's resolutions. One resolution may be to get your credit card account in order so you can … Continue reading

Consumers Plan to Use Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping

Americans have seen a number of substantial data breaches since last year's holiday season, but that has not had a major effect on how they plan to pay for their items this Christmas. A new survey from TransUnion shows 80% of … Continue reading

CFPB Proposes Stronger Consumer Protections on Prepaid Cards

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced today that it will propose much stronger protections on prepaid cards. The CFPB proposal would require prepaid companies provide easy and free access to account information, work with consumers to resolve errors, and to … Continue reading

Debit Cards Decline in Popularity

A new report indicates debit cards are dropping in popularity, even though they remain the most common form of payment in America. According to the TSYS's 2014 Consumer Payment Study, the decline is primarily motivated by security fears from the number … Continue reading

Apple Pay’s Biggest Competitor Could be a Totally New Credit Card

Apple Pay is being heralded as a revolutionary new payment system because of its two new security features: tokenization and fingerprint identification. The shocking number of data breaches in the last year have made credit card theft the crime that … Continue reading

53 Million Email Addresses Also Stolen in Home Depot Breach

The extent of the Home Depot data breach deepened on Thursday when the company disclosed that hackers also stole 53 million email addresses. In September, Home Depot confirmed that a whopping 56 million credit and debit cards were affected by … Continue reading

Americans Are Losing Trust in Their Banks

Half of American adults say they have lost trust in their banks over the last few years, according to a recent Harris Poll. By comparison, 49% of the respondents said their trust in credit unions has remained the same in … Continue reading

Data Breaches Affected 18.5 Million Californians in 2013

Nearly half of California's residents were affected by data breaches and cyber intrusions in 2013, a staggering seven-fold increase from the previous year. According to a new report issued by Kamala Harris, the state's Attorney General, the personal information of … Continue reading

Citibank to Provide Free Credit Scores to Cardholders

Citibank will become the largest credit card issuer to provide free credit scores to their credit card customers. The bank will begin providing these scores on a monthly basis beginning in January. The scores will only be available online. Citi … Continue reading

Staples Investigating Potential Data Breach

Staples may be the latest victim of a debit and credit card breach. The office supply chain announced late yesterday that it is investigating a potential data breach at several locations. According to security expert Brian Krebs, several banks identified … Continue reading

President Obama Tightens Security on Government-Issued Debit Cards

Even the federal government is feeling uneasy about the security of debit and credit cards. Reacting to the incredible number of data breaches at major retail chains, the United States government will now require that all federal benefits issued via … Continue reading

Apple Pay to Launch Monday

Apple Pay, a revolutionary new payment system where consumers can make payments with a touch of their finger on their new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, will launch this Monday, October 20. Apple Pay allows consumers to store their … Continue reading

Did the Durbin Amendment Make a Difference?

The Durbin Amendment contained a provision that limited the interchange fees merchants paid for debit card transactions. The thought was that retailers would lower their prices if these high swipe fees were decreased. But on the third anniversary of this … Continue reading

Kmart Latest Chain Hit by Data Breach

Credit card hackers have hit another major retailer in the United States. This time, it's Kmart. In a filing last Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company says a month-long data breach took place in early September. Debit and … Continue reading

Dairy Queen Confirms Data Breach in 395 Stores

International Dairy Queen has confirmed a data breach did take place in 395 locations and may have affected nearly 600,000 debit and credit cards. After an investigation that began in August, the company found that Backoff malware, used in so … Continue reading

How To Use Credit Card Chip & PIN Technology

America is now a year away from an October 2015 deadline when all banks, retailers and credit card providers will transition to chip and PIN cards in order to strengthen credit card security. All of the cards currently in your wallet … Continue reading

Credit Card Debt Falls for First Time Since February

Credit card debt fell slightly in August for the first time since February, dropping $208 million or an annual rate of 0.3%. These were the findings of the latest monthly Consumer Credit report from the Federal Reserve. Americans now have … Continue reading

Major Data Breach at JP Morgan Chase Hits 76 Million Households

JP Morgan Chase, the nation's largest bank in terms of assets, has acknowledged a massive data breach that affects 76 million households and 7 million small businesses. The bank disclosed the extent of the breach in a filing yesterday with … Continue reading

Proposal to Cap Interest Rates for Military Members

In an effort to better protect members of the military from high interest rates, the Department of Defense has proposed an update to the Military Lending Act from 2006. The update would put more credit products under the 36% interest … Continue reading

Data Breach at 216 Jimmy John’s Locations

Jimmy John's is the latest company to suffer a major data breach. The sandwich shop chain confirmed today that criminals hacked into their point of sale systems at 216 stores and accessed customer debit and credit card information. The breach … Continue reading

Home Depot Breach Hit 56 Million Credit And Debit Cards

Earlier this month, Home Depot announced a data breach that hit its 2,200+ home improvement stores in America and Canada. The company now confirms that a whopping 56 million credit and debit cards were affected by the breach. The magnitude … Continue reading

Barclaycard Offers 0% APR for 34 Months On Balance Transfers in UK

There are some very good balance transfer offers on credit cards here in the United States. But nothing compared to what is going on in the United Kingdom. Barclaycard has now introduced a card with a 0% APR for 34 months on … Continue reading

Could Apple Pay Be the End of Data Breaches?

Apple's announcement of a new payment system, Apple Pay, could not have come at a more opportune time.Consumers have been shell-shocked by the number of data breaches that have taken place at well-known stores: Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, P.F. Chang's, … Continue reading

Home Depot Confirms Credit Card Hack

Yesterday, Home Depot confirmed a breach of its payment data system that may affect any customer who used a debit or credit card since April. Since Home Depot has nearly 2,000 stores in the United States and another 180 in … Continue reading

Millennials Shying Away from Credit Cards

Credit card issuers must be very concerned by the results of a survey released today: nearly two-thirds of millennials do not have a credit card. 63% of adults 18-29 years old do not own a credit card compared to 35% of adults … Continue reading

Apple’s Introduction May Lead to the End of the Plastic Credit Card

The date of September 9, 2014 may very well be the beginning of the end of the physical credit card. As we forecasted in June, there is a good chance Apple will announce a watch and/or phone on Tuesday that … Continue reading

Data Breach at Goodwill Compromises 868,000 Cards

Goodwill Industries confirmed yesterday that a data breach in 330 of its stores may have compromised an estimated 868,000 debit and credit cards. Payment card information, such as names, payment card numbers and expiration dates, may have been compromised. However, … Continue reading

CFPB Issues Warning on Deceptive Credit Card Marketing

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning to credit card companies about deceptive marketing tactics used to promote convenience checks and reduced or zero percent interest offers. The Bureau told banks to properly disclose the costs of these … Continue reading

Mobile Wallet Isis Changes Name to Softcard to Avoid Association with Terrorist Group

The mobile wallet formerly known as Isis has rebranded its product to Softcard in order to avoid any association or confusion with the violent Islamic militant group with the same name. "We have no interest in sharing a name with … Continue reading

Possible Card Data Breach at Home Depot

Home Depot may be the latest American retailer to suffer a significant data breach. Today, a massive number of debit and credit card information appeared on a site where card numbers are illegally sold. According to security expert Brian Krebs, … Continue reading

Data Breach at Dairy Queen

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory that estimated more than 1,000 businesses have been affected by the same "Backoff" malicious software which led to the Target breach. Dairy Queen appears to be the latest victim. The Minneapolis-based … Continue reading

UPS Reveals Data Breach in 51 Stores

United Parcel Service reported yesterday that a data breach may have occurred in 51 of their UPS Stores, possibly leading to the theft of customer debit and credit card information. Malicious software that was not identified by current anti-virus software … Continue reading

Recent Stories & News

True Link Raises $3.4 Million to Develop Debit Card to Help Fraud Protection for the Elderly

True Link Raises $3.4 Million to Develop Debit Card to Help Fraud Protection for the Elderly

January 26th, 2015

True Link Financial has been working on a debit card solution for seniors that will help protect the[...]

Guard Against Identity Theft with Masked Credit Card Numbers from Blur

Guard Against Identity Theft with Masked Credit Card Numbers from Blur

January 26th, 2015

Worried about credit card thieves stealing your personal information? You may benefit from a credit [...]

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 23, 2015

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 23, 2015

January 23rd, 2015

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SWIFT Sanctions Screening Now Covers All Financial Transaction Formats

SWIFT Sanctions Screening Now Covers All Financial Transaction Formats

January 22nd, 2015

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Santander Enters Prepaid Card Market

Santander Enters Prepaid Card Market

January 22nd, 2015

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The LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report for January 22, 2015

The LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report for January 22, 2015

January 22nd, 2015

The LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report is based on our Complete Credit Card Index which tra[...]

Amazon Abandons Its Mobile Wallet

Amazon Abandons Its Mobile Wallet

January 21st, 2015

Amazon Wallet, Amazon's entry into the growing mobile wallet industry, has been discontinued after o[...]