LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 8, 2013
Young Adults Retreat From Piling Up Debt
Total debt among young adults dropped in the last decade to the lowest level in 15 years. A typical young U.S. household, defined as one led by someone under age 35, had $15,000 in total debt in 2010, down from $18,000 in 2001 and the lowest since 1995. In addition, fewer young adults carried credit card balances and 22 percent didn’t have any debt at all in 2010–the most since government tracking began in 1983. Story by Neil Shah for The Wall Street Journal.
Debit Card Swipe Fees Drop Dramatically
The Federal Reserve has issued a report which shows the Durbin Amendment helped create a drastic reduction in debit card interchange fees, so the Federal Reserve does not plan to take any further action to alter these swipe fees. The report says the average swipe fee at banks covered by the Durbin Amendment decreased from an average of 50 cents during the first nine months of the year to 24 cents per transaction during the final quarter of 2011, a decline of 52 percent. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
Indonesia Impedes Card Collectors
Credit cards are taking off in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, and the high interest rates are making them profitable and creating intense competition from banks. The number of credit cards in Indonesia has jumped 60 percent in the past five years to around 15 million last year. There is new class of card holder who has 10 or more cards just for the freebies and discounts they promise. The plastic perks have been so successful at boosting business that the central bank slapped new restrictions on cards this year, concerned the marketing blitz could trigger a debt bubble. Restrictions could shut down the plans of card companies like Visa and MasterCard and big global banks like Citigroup and HSBC, which were targeting Indonesia as one of the last great untapped markets for them. Story by Eric Bellman for The Wall Street Journal.
The Best Rewards Credit Cards for Saving on Gas
With gas prices hovering around $3.78 on average throughout the country, drivers are looking for methods to cut costs wherever they can. One of the easiest ways to do that is with a credit card that offers rewards for buying gasoline, such as cash back. Story by Daniel Bortz for US News.
Capital One CEO Gets Cash Pay for First Time Since 1997
Capital One Financial Corp. gave Chief Executive Officer Richard Fairbank a portion of his compensation in cash for the first time since at least 1997. The lender awarded Fairbank $2.19 million as a deferred cash bonus, part of his $17.5 million compensation package for 2012. Under guidelines from securities regulators, which calculate pay differently, Fairbank earned $22.6 million. Story by Dakin Campbell for Bloomberg.
Scammers Now Accepting Green Dot MoneyPaks
Cash-load PINS, like those used by Green Dot, are becoming the new preferred payment method for scammers. The MoneyPak card gives you access to the money on the card with the 14-digit authorization code on the back. “As soon as the victim gives the scammer that code, they use it to load all of your money onto their prepaid card,” explained Karen Hobbs at the Federal Trade Commission. “Once that money is offloaded, it is essentially irretrievable.” Story by Herb Weisbaum for The Today Show.
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 14.32 percent, slightly below last week’s average of 14.35 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.36 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.29 percent.