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

Reports Show Black Friday Shopping Moved to the Internet

Consumers were more inclined to shop online for Black Friday deals this year than they were to head to the store, according to a new report from the National Retail Federation. In fact, the entire Thanksgiving weekend was dominated by … Continue reading

10 Credit Card Tips to Better Manage Holiday Spending

We are approaching one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Nearly 136 million people plan to shop over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend according to the National Retail Federation. Consumers are projected to spend an average of $805 during … Continue reading

80% of U.S. Consumers Concerned About Online Crime

Four out of every five consumers in the United States are worried they will be the victim of an online crime, according to a Symantec report released today. The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report found 62% of consumers believe it is likely … Continue reading

Starwood Hotels Victim of Payment System Data Breach

Just days after Marriott Hotels announced its acquisition of Starwood Hotels, Starwood has reported a potential credit card breach at some of its North American locations. The dates for the breach vary by location, but they range from November 2014 … Continue reading

Consumers are Treating Themselves with eGift Cards

eGift card purchases are growing, but people are buying them for themselves, not to give as presents, according to a survey conducted by Blackhawk Network. Plastic gift cards remain popular. Nearly all of the respondents in the survey (86%) purchased … Continue reading

Businesses Investing Much More in Mobile App Development

Nine out of ten large private companies plan to increase their investment in mobile application development in the next year, according to a survey from Red Hat. These companies will increase their expenditures on mobile apps by an average of … Continue reading

Online Retail Fraud Attempts Jumped 30% in Past Year

As consumers and retailers prepare for the holidays, both groups need to be vigilant against fraud. A new study found that online retail fraud attempts have increased by 30% in the past year. In transactions where cards are not present (CNP), 1 out … Continue reading

Slow EMV Readers May Spur Mobile Payment Usage

Adoption of EMV card readers has been slow. In September, only 22% of small retailers were ready for the October 2015 transition deadline. As more and more businesses switch to the microchip reader, though, they may be making credit cards … Continue reading

Why Do I Get So Many Credit Card Offers In The Mail & How Can I Stop Them?

If you have good or excellent credit, you may have credit card offer letters flooding your mailbox. Typically, these promotions offer low interest rates and attractive balance transfer offers. Credit card companies send these tempting prescreened, or pre-approved, offers to consumers who … Continue reading

Consumers to be More Frugal This Holiday Season

Nearly one-third (32%) of consumers are planning on spending less on holiday celebrations in 2015 than they did a year ago, according to an IRI MarketPulse survey. Last year, consumers spent nearly $13 billion in the four-week period after Thanksgiving. … Continue reading

Bank Branches Still in Demand Despite Mobile Banking Growth

The increased use of mobile banking apps isn't stopping people from visiting their local branches, according to a new survey from OnePoint Global. The study assessed how mobile banking customers from the United States and United Kingdom interact with their … Continue reading

Despite Insurance, Companies Still at Risk for Financial Consequences of a Data Breach

A recent study shows that even though many companies have purchased insurance to protect themselves from the financial consequences of a data breach, gaps remain that must be closed. The study, commissioned by Wells Fargo Insurance's Technology, Privacy and Network … Continue reading

By 2030, Most Transactions Will Be Cashless

Over half (56%) the experts surveyed in the payments and financial services industry think the United States will be a cashless society by 2030. A Capital One survey of 151 leaders in these sectors also showed the majority (52%) feel … Continue reading

Senators Demand Protection for Prisoners over Debit Card Fees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is facing pressure to regulate a debit card program for released prisoners. A group of 18 senators wrote a letter to the CFPB about the high fees on these debit cards that all released prisoners … Continue reading

Credit Card Consumers Want Better Rewards Programs

Only one in four credit cardholders are completely satisfied with their primary card's rewards program, according to the fifth annual Rewards Barometer Study by Capital One. This is a fairly significant decline from 30% a year ago. Nearly 96% of … Continue reading

Americans Not Doing Enough to Protect Their Privacy Online

Nearly every American consumer (98%) believes they are creating safe passwords, but a recent study shows that only 6% are actually doing so. The study by Avast, a company specializing in PC and mobile security, is surprising since 69% of respondents say … Continue reading

Amazon Discontinues Its Mobile Credit Card Reader

After only a year on the market, the mobile card reader known as "Amazon Register" is being pulled from the virtual shelves. Amazon announced it will be discontinuing its mobile payment processor as of February 1, 2016. Amazon Register was introduced … Continue reading

3 of 4 Consumers Have Changed Online Behavior Due to Cybercrime

Nearly 3 of 4 adults (74%) in the United States say they have changed their online behaviors due to the threat of cybercrime, according to a recent survey. The most common changes are not conducting transactions on a shared computer … Continue reading

Only 1 in 5 Employees Are Prepared for Retirement

Only 19% of employees in America are confidently prepared for retirement, according to Financial Finesse's 2015 State of U.S. Employee Retirement Preparedness report. Of those who are not prepared for retirement, 76% have not run a projection to ensure that they … Continue reading

MasterCard Aims to Make Any Gadget a Payment Device

Yesterday, MasterCard announced that consumers will soon be able to pay for products from their cars, fashion accessories, technological devices, wearables, and categories that have not yet been imagined. This program will provide a high level of security, and give … Continue reading

USAA Moves Credit Portfolio from MasterCard to Visa

USAA, one of the largest issuers of debit and credit cards in the United States, has announced it will move its portfolio to Visa after a 30-year relationship with MasterCard. The United Services Automobile Association provides financial planning, banking and insurance … Continue reading

Controversial Cybersecurity Bill Advances in Senate

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate advanced a bill that will make it easier for corporations to share cyber attack information with other business or the government. To move ahead, the bill, which has strong support from members of both parties, … Continue reading

Millennials Are Stressed About Money, But They Are Saving

A recent report found that 84% of Millennials are confident about money and are focused on their finances, but they're also experiencing a lot of financial stress. In fact, 41% reported feeling "chronically stressed" about their finances, according to the … Continue reading

Netflix Blames Subpar Growth on Switch to Chip Credit Cards

Netflix offered a unique reason for why its subscription rates have been lower than expected. In a letter to shareholders, the streaming media provider says its subpar performance is partly due to America's transition to chip-embedded credit cards. How could … Continue reading

Your Social Media Posts May Soon Affect Your Credit Score

There's a new reason to be careful when updating your Facebook status. As reported on Investors.com, talking about a weekend of debauchery might lower your credit score. The Fair Isaac Corporation (or FICO), a credit rating agency, is implementing new … Continue reading

An “Average” Cyber Crime Costs a U.S. Company $15.4 Million

The cost of cyber crime is skyrocketing. A new study shows a cyber crime incident in the United States costs a company an average of $15.4 million, an increase of 19%. Cyber crimes in the United States are much costlier … Continue reading

Lack of Cybersecurity Could Cost Healthcare Providers $305 Billion

Over the next five years, cyberattacks will cost U.S. healthcare providers $305 billion in cumulative lifetime revenue, according to a recent report by Accenture. Accenture discovered that nearly 25 million people (1 in 13 patients) will have Social Security, financial, … Continue reading

63% of U.S. Healthcare Organizations are Putting Patient Records at Risk

The majority of healthcare organizations are not doing enough to protect patient privacy, according to a report by IS Decisions, a security software provider. To secure patient records, a healthcare organization must ensure that each employee has a unique login so … Continue reading

Chase Slate vs. Citi Double Cash

Shopping for a credit card can be an overwhelming experience. There are close to 1,000 credit cards offered in the United States. When shopping for a new card, it is important to apply for one that meets your financial objectives. … Continue reading

It May Get Easier to Sue Your Bank

It is currently very difficult for individuals to sue a financial institution because of an arbitration clause that appears in most contracts. This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it was considering a number of proposals to change that. Many … Continue reading

American Bankers Association Reveals Data Breach

The American Bankers Association recently disclosed details about a data breach that compromised roughly 6,400 usernames and passwords on the association's website. The group confirmed the computer systems were compromised last Thursday, but they do not believe that any financial … Continue reading

Could Facial Recognition Eliminate Passwords By 2020?

Is it possible that selfies could replace passwords within five years? The security gurus at MasterCard think that could happen. "I think it will take three to five years for passwords to die out," Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise security solutions … Continue reading

Mobile Payments Coming to Chevron Gas Stations

Visa and Chevron have joined forces to bring mobile payments to the pump. Today, the two companies announced they are launching a payment program at 20 Chevron stations in San Francisco and Silicon Valley later this fall. Consumers can pay for … Continue reading

Experian Data Breach Puts 15 Million T-Mobile Customers At Risk

On October 1, Experian, one of the country's leading credit rating bureaus, announced one of their servers had been breached. This server held the personal data of consumers who had applied for T-Mobile postpaid services between September 1, 2013 and September … Continue reading

Data Breach at Scottrade Affects up to 4.6 Million Customers

Scottrade, an online discount brokerage firm, confirmed it was the victim of a data breach that took place during late 2013 and early 2014. The breached database contained customer Social Security numbers, email address and other sensitive information, but the … Continue reading

Face-to-Face Interactions Keep Bank Branches Open

Most Americans still want to visit a physical branch to do their banking business, according to a new survey from Glory Globe Solutions. In fact, 61% of American consumers visit their bank once a month, and 73% believe they’ll still … Continue reading

CFPB Fines Fifth Third Bank for Illegal Credit Card Practices

Yesterday, Fifth Third Bank became the 11th credit card issuer to be slapped with major fines by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for illegal practices in the marketing or administration of credit card add-on products and services. Fifth Third Bank will … Continue reading

New Report Examines the Intricacies of Data Hacking

Trend Micro recently released a report that analyzed ten years’ worth of information about high-profile U.S. data breaches. The report from Trend Micro, a global security software company, moves past the discussion of the individuals affected and how they can protect … Continue reading

Capital One Cardholders Get First Access to iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tickets

The very popular iHeartRadio Jingle Ball concert tour will sweep the country once again in 2015, hitting 11 major cities throughout the United States. Nick Jonas will be performing at seven of the shows. Capital One will be this year's … Continue reading

Security Still a Concern for Mobile Payments

The security of mobile payments remains a very big concern for cybersecurity experts. ISACA, a global nonprofit information systems organization, surveyed over 900 cybersecurity experts about mobile payments. These experts are excited about the convenience of mobile payments, but there … Continue reading

New Chase Freedom App Redeems Rewards at Checkout

Recently, Chase introduced a mobile app specifically for the Chase Freedom card, which allows Chase Freedom cardholders the opportunity to redeem their cash back rewards and pay at the register at 30 top merchants. With the new Chase Freedom Mobile … Continue reading

Criminals Use Charity Websites to Test Credit Card Numbers

If your credit card bill contains an unauthorized donation to a charity, you are not alone. New information reveals that criminals are using unsecured charity websites to test stolen credit card numbers on a global scale. Many charity websites have simplified … Continue reading

EMV Credit Cards Still a Mystery for Most Consumers

The majority of Americans (56%) are unaware of what a chip or EMV credit card is, despite the upcoming transition on October 1st, according to a new survey from point-of-sale provider Harbortouch. The survey consisted of 18,000 adults throughout the … Continue reading

Fingerprint Security Introduced for Bank of America Mobile App

Nearly half of mobile device owners in America have used mobile banking at least once in the last month, according to a recent study. But with this usage comes one major concern: the security of such transactions. Bank of America … Continue reading

Android’s Stagefright Puts Millions of Users at Risk

On September 12, mobile security company Lookout e-mailed users to alert them of a security vulnerability called Stagefright, which allows an attacker to control and steal data from Android devices by sending infected multimedia messages (MMS). Stagefright is used on … Continue reading

Google Finally Launches Android Pay

After much anticipation, Android Pay is finally here. Google launched its mobile wallet yesterday, starting with a small group of Android phones running on the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system at a minimum. The NFC payment system is scheduled to … Continue reading

Only 22% of Small Businesses Are Ready for EMV Deadline

Yet another study has emerged showing that small businesses are unprepared for the October 2015 deadline of transitioning to EMV card readers. Only 22% of small retailers are ready for the deadline, and 23% feel chip and PIN card readers … Continue reading

Recent Stories & News

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Large Amount of Banking Will Be Done on Wearables by 2020

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Reports Show Black Friday Shopping Moved to the Internet

Consumers were more inclined to shop online for Black Friday deals this year than they were to head [...]
5 Tips For Sticking With Your Holiday Budget

5 Tips For Sticking With Your Holiday Budget

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VTech Data Breach Affects Nearly 5 Million Customers

Last Friday, VTech announced that an unauthorized party accessed the customer data held on its Learn[...]
Chase Slate vs. Citi Diamond Preferred

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LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 25, 2015

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 25, 2015

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