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

Scott Walker Struggles with Credit Card Debt

Presidential candidate and Governor Scott Walker may be like a lot of other Americans who struggle with debt. According to his financial disclosure form released Monday, Walker has a credit card from Barclays with an incredibly high interest rate of … Continue reading

How We Pay: Digital Payments Rise, But Cash is Still King

More Americans are making digital payments but traditional payment methods are still overwhelmingly preferred, according to a new survey from Blackhawk Network. The survey, entitled "How America Pays in 2015: Traditional, Digital and Mobile Convergence in Payments," assessed how American shoppers currently … Continue reading

42% of IT Decision Makers Aren’t Moving on EMV Transition

Many businesses are not prepared for the upcoming October 1st deadline for processing chip-embedded credit cards, according to a new survey from Randstad Technologies. A large portion of IT decision makers--those involved with deciding the technological state of a company--still have … Continue reading

Americans Overwhelmingly Support Payday Loan Regulations

New research from Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the proposed payday loan regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Only 1 in 10 Americans surveyed in May saw payday lenders in a positive light, and 75% said … Continue reading

Mike Tyson Reportedly Enters Bitcoin ATM Business

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is apparently putting his name on a bitcoin ATM venture in Las Vegas. The machines will convert cash into the digital currency. Over the weekend, he tweeted to his nearly five million followers, "Coming … Continue reading

Appeals Court Rules CFPB’s Constitutionality Can Be Challenged

On Friday, a federal appeals court dealt the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a potential setback when it ruled that a small Texas bank could proceed with a lawsuit against the constitutionality of the CFPB structure. In June 2012, the State … Continue reading

Amazon’s New Credit Card Gives Prime Members 5% Cash Back

Amazon has introduced a new credit card for its Prime members that gives cardholders an extremely lucrative reward. The Amazon Prime Store Card gives Amazon Prime members 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases, not just purchases made on Prime. The … Continue reading

Citibank to Refund $700 Million Over Illegal Credit Card Practices

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Citibank to refund $700 million to 8.8 million customers for illegal credit card practices. The CFPB said Citibank engaged in deceptive marketing and unfair billing of credit card add-on products from 2003 … Continue reading

Hacking Fears Also Close Costco, Rite Aid Online Photo Sites

The possible data breach with a third-party supplier that handles the online photo centers for major retailers has now closed down the operations of some additional chains. The online photo centers at Costco, Rite Aid, Sam's Club and Tesco have … Continue reading

Data Breach at Online Cheating Site Ashley Madison

This is not your ordinary credit card data breach. Ashley Madison, a website that promotes adultery by connecting married people looking to cheat on their spouses, was hacked by cyber criminals who are threatening to release information on the company's … Continue reading

Students Stress about Finances, Despite Good Credit Card Habits

According to a survey from the The Ohio State University, 72% of college students are stressed about their finances. Nearly 60% of college students in four-year universities worry about being able to pay for school, and those in junior colleges are … Continue reading

CFPB Proposes a Faster Payments System in America

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a new set of guidelines for faster payment systems in the United States. While financial institutions and payment processors work to reduce "pocket-to-pocket" payment times, the CFPB wants to ensure that the upgraded … Continue reading

Consumers Not Enthusiastic about Digital Wallets

Americans are simply not that enthusiastic about the digital wallet. Despite the development of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and a number of other independent digital wallet services, Americans aren't taking to virtual payments as expected, according to a … Continue reading

JP Morgan Chase to Pay Millions to Settle Credit Card Debt Probes

JP Morgan Chase will have to pay back $50 million to consumers and another $166 million to settle probes by both federal and state authorities for selling bad credit card debt and illegally robo-signing documents, the CFPB announced today. The … Continue reading

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

Recent Stories & News

Scott Walker Struggles with Credit Card Debt

Scott Walker Struggles with Credit Card Debt

Presidential candidate and Governor Scott Walker may be like a lot of other Americans who struggle w[...]
How We Pay: Digital Payments Rise, But Cash is Still King

How We Pay: Digital Payments Rise, But Cash is Still King

More Americans are making digital payments but traditional payment methods are still overwhelmingly [...]
MasterCard Partnership to Bring Samsung Pay to Europe

MasterCard Partnership to Bring Samsung Pay to Europe

Samsung's highly anticipated mobile wallet, Samsung Pay, is expected to launch in America this summe[...]
American Express Rewards Can Be Used on BestBuy.com

American Express Rewards Can Be Used on BestBuy.com

American Express cardholders will now be able to use their membership rewards to make purchases on B[...]
Consumers Learning to "Dip" Their Credit Cards

Consumers Learning to "Dip" Their Credit Cards

If you have recently received a new credit card in the mail, you may have been asked to "dip" your c[...]
Ruling Makes It Easier to Sue Company after Data Breach

Ruling Makes It Easier to Sue Company after Data Breach

A new ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has made it easier for consumers to sue big compa[...]
Universal Payment Processor Introduced for Small Businesses

Universal Payment Processor Introduced for Small Businesses

Springboard Retail and Heartland Payment Systems have partnered to provide small businesses with an [...]