LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 31, 2013

July 31, 2013, Written By Lynn Oldshue

Why Stolen European Credit Cards Cost Five Times as Much as U.S. Ones
European hackers accused of selling stolen data only collected about $10 for each stolen American credit card number, according to an indictment from federal prosecutors. But European cards netted the hackers around $50 a pop. European banks and credit card providers have a delay in processing transactions over weekends. Thieves can clone European cards and capitalize on the delay by going on weekend spending sprees. The result: a wave of credit card fraud by American criminals targeting European victims. Another factor in the low cost of U.S. credit cards in these criminal schemes: it’s easier to get them. Story by Andrea Peterson for the Washington Post.

Over a Million are Denied Bank Accounts for Past Errors
Mistakes like a bounced check or a small overdraft have effectively blacklisted more than a million low-income Americans from the mainstream financial system for as long as seven years as a result of little-known private databases that are used by the nation’s major banks. The problem is contributing to the growth of the roughly 10 million households in the United States that lack a banking account, a basic requirement of modern economic life. Institutions like Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo say that tapping into the vast repositories of information helps them weed out risky customers and combat fraud–a mounting threat for banks. Story by Jessica Silver-Greenberg for the New York Times.

I Am Still Waiting for My Phone to Become My Wallet
A truly mobile wallet has long been described as imminent. But it remains elusive. Some innovations have begun to bridge the gap, but most have been a disappointment or have not yet worked well enough for mainstream adoption. Wireless carriers are reluctant to hand over potentially lucrative streams to companies like Apple and Google, which already make billions from devices and the software that runs on them. Banks and credit card companies are also rolling out mobile checking services and applications. And industry heavyweights like PayPal and Groupon are also scrambling to get their own offerings into the market. Story by Jenna Wortham for the New York Times.

Discover Luring Banks with Lower Fees
Discover has been in negotiation with several banks recently trying to get them to convert to their services instead of Visa or MasterCard. It has succeeded with a few banks in Illinois, but Discover plans to expand well beyond that state in the coming months. The main reasons that banks are considering the transfer is because Discover promises lower fees and gives banks a chance to use their names on the cards without the Discover logo. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com.

U.S. Says Ring Stole 160 Million Credit Card Numbers
In one of the largest hacking and data breach cases in the country, foreign hackers stole and sold 160 million credit card numbers from more than a dozen companies, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. The scheme was run by four Russian nationals and a Ukrainian. The victims in the scheme, which prosecutors said ran from 2005 until last year, included J. C. Penney, 7-Eleven, JetBlue and Heartland Payment Systems, one of the world’s largest credit and debit processing companies. Story by Nathaniel Popper and Somini Sengupta for the New York Times.

Money Management Tips for College-Bound Students
Many students will soon leave home for college, taking another step toward independence and managing money on their own. Students unprepared for new freedom can quickly go into debt and ruin their credit score. Parents need to make sure students are prepared to live on a budget as well as understanding the right way to use credit, stay out of debt and build a good credit score. Parents should make a money management plan with their student. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com

Well Fargo Halts Card Debt Sales As Scrutiny Mounts
Wells Fargo has halted sales of its customers’ unpaid consumer loans to outside debt collection agencies. It also comes at a time when regulators are ratcheting up scrutiny of banks’ collections operations. JPMorgan Chase faces a pending federal enforcement action and a lawsuit from California’s attorney general over its credit card collections practices.  Story by Maria Aspan for American Banker.

Top Credit Card Mistakes
There are an estimated 1.5 billion credit cards in use in the United States and that can make them seem pretty ubiquitous. Nevertheless, access to credit cards is a privilege not a right, and if you make mistakes, you’ll pay a price–sometimes a hefty one. With that in mind, we offer this list of serious credit card mistakes and their equally serious repercussions. Story by Adam Levin for ABC News.

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.31 percent, slightly below the 14.32 percent average from last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.33 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.34 percent.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 31, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.