LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013, Written By Lynn Oldshue

Prepaid Cards May Lack Protections of Checking Accounts
Reloadable prepaid cards don’t have to carry federal deposit insurance, as checking accounts do, says a new report from a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Cardholders can use them for direct deposit of their paychecks and to pay bills, just as customers can do with a checking account. But checking accounts carry up to $250,000 in mandatory deposit insurance per customer through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that can help in the event of a bank failure.  Story by Ann Carrns for the New York Times.

Paying Taxes with a Credit Card
A significant number of people have opted to pay their taxes with a debit or credit card since electronic payments were first authorized by the 1997 Taxpayer Relief Act. While convenient, paying your taxes by a credit card can have significant drawbacks. If you charge your taxes and don’t pay off your card balance in full, you will be subjected to your card’s high interest penalties each month you carry a balance. In addition, card payments to the IRS are processed by third-party providers. Story by Roy Williams for LowCards.com.

A Guide for Credit Card Newbies
For many teenagers, there’s no better feeling than the first time they hold a credit card. However, these newbies need to know how to use a credit card responsibly if they want to set themselves on a path toward a stable financial future. If you’re on the verge of becoming a credit card user, here’s what you need to know to understand how to use this light, yet powerful, piece of plastic. Story by Daniel Bortz for US News and World Report.

Discover Discovers Home Equity Loans
The improving housing market has opened the door to a new line of banking business for credit card lender Discover: home-equity loans. Discover will offer home-equity loans starting in the second half of the year as it aims to benefit from rising home values and continue its push beyond plastic. Story by Andrew Johnson for the Wall Street Journal.

Consumers Now Managing Credit Card Accounts Remarkably Well
A record number of consumers are paying their credit card bills on time as well as paying a greater percentage of their monthly balance. The delinquency rate on retail credit card accounts declined in February to 1.61 percent, the lowest level since Fitch Ratings began its prime index in 1991. Charge-offs also reached a six-year low. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

More Banks Hit By Cyber Attacks Than Initially Thought
This week’s cyber attacks against U.S. banks were more widespread than reported, industry experts say. Roughly a half dozen institutions endured digital assaults at around the same time. Tuesday’s attacks “were the largest attacks we’ve seen to date in scale,” said a vice president of security solutions at Radware. “The one that was advertised to the world was Chase, but I can tell you that almost on an hourly basis banks were being attacked, which is a very substantial campaign.” Story by Brian Browdie and Sean Sposito for American Banker.

Visa Says Big Data Identifies Billions of Dollars in Fraud
The rising controversy over China’s alleged cyber espionage against U.S. companies may be obscuring a much bigger and more immediate threat to many businesses and their customers–and that is the mounting sophistication of criminal gangs that operate online. No company–and certainly not Visa, the credit and debit card processing giant–can afford to “stand still.” To confront the risk, Visa introduced a new analytic engine in August 2011, which has changed the way the company combats fraud. Story by Steve Rosenbush for The Wall Street Journal.

AmEx CEO got $28.5 Million in 2012
American Express said Chairman and Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault received $28.5 million in 2012, an increase of 23.7 percent over the prior year– a base salary of $2 million, a $4 million bonus, stock awards valued at $18.9 million, option awards valued at $2.2 million and other payments, according to  million in option awards. Story by Andrew Johnson for the Wall Street Journal.

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.31 percent, slightly below last week’s average of 14.32 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.34 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.29 percent.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 15, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.