LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update November 21
Mobile Apps Aim to Steer Consumer Credit Card Choices
There are two new mobile apps which help cardholders select the best credit card to use at checkout. Wallaby Financial released a free app that helps iPhone users determine which card will yield the most perks. The app supports more than 300 cards. Glyph released an app that recommends the cards to use at nearby stores in order to maximize the credit card rewards when users tap on button. The feature helps consumers find out about credit cards that would earn a consumer more rewards on their purchases, such as 6% cash back on groceries. Story by Mary Wisniewski for American Banker
The Best Credit Cards for Rebuilding Your Credit Score
Some consumers consistently do things that damage their credit score and dig themselves into a hole that can take years to recover. There are several steps a person needs to take in order to climb that ladder to recovery. The first is to be financially prudent. Request your free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com and make sure there are no errors on your credit history. Then start to curb the harmful behaviors that affect your credit score–pay your bills on time and don’t overspend on your credit card. One of the best avenues to reclaim a healthy FICO score is to establish good credit through a secured credit card, which has a fixed credit limit and is linked to a savings account. To help you nurse your credit back to health, here are six recommended secured credit cards. Story by Daniel Bortz for U.S. News.
Credit Card Balances and Delinquencies Rise in Third Quarter
The average credit card debt per American borrower increased to $4,996, up 4.9 percent in the third quarter from the year before, according to a report released today from TransUnion. Late payments at least 90 days overdue also slightly increased to 0.75 percent during the July-September period, up from 0.71 percent in the third quarter of 2011. The late payment rate was 0.63 percent in the second quarter of 2012. The late payment rate is still close to historically low levels. TransUnion reported 36 states had increases in their credit card delinquency rates from a year ago while nine other states and the District of Columbia posted decreases. There were no changes in five states. Average credit card debt is likely to climb again in the fourth quarter as consumers use credit cards to pay for holiday shopping. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
E-commerce Sales Grow 17.3% in Q3
According to the Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales in the United States hit $56.99 billion in the third quarter, up 17.3 percent from $48.59 billion for the same period a year ago. Sales during this quarter also represented a 3.7 percent increase from the $54.94 billion in the second quarter. The 17.3 percent growth posted for the third quarter follows three quarters when e-retail sales growth hovered just above 15 percent. E-commerce accounted for nearly 5.2 percent of total retail sales excluding foodservice–mainly restaurant and bar sales–during the three months ended Sept. 30, up from 4.7 percent in the third quarter of 2011 and 5.1 percent from the second quarter of 2012. Story by Allison Enright for Internet Retailer.
Spending on Mobile Devices Soaring
Two new studies show how rapidly shopping habits are shifting to mobile devices. A Javelin Strategy & Research study reveals over $20.7 billion in sales took place on mobile devices last year. This includes both online and in-store shopping. The report found a significant increase in spending when consumers use a tablet. Tablet users spend an average of $10 more per purchase than a mobile phone user. The IDC Financial Insights report, Technology Selection: Worldwide Mobile Payments 2012-2017 Forecast, predicts that purchase volume on mobile devices throughout the world by consumers and businesses will exceed $1 trillion by 2017. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com.
How Gaming Libor Became Business as Usual
The Libor scandal may have begun in the 1990s according to interviews with traders and a review of documents and public records. It may have been driven to some degree by the growth of the CME’s Eurodollar contract into a multi-billion-dollar casino for betting on interest rates. By the mid-2000s, manipulating Libor to profit on Eurodollar futures and other derivatives had become standard operating procedure among banks in a position to do so, according to people familiar with the market. In at least three instances, Barclays traders sought to manipulate Libor in the key months when Eurodollar futures contracts settled in 2006, according to the CFTC and U.S. Justice Department inquiries into trading at the bank. Investigations under way may eventually yield some answers. What was the extent of the damage done? Nudging Libor by a few one-hundredths of a percentage point may not seem like a big deal, but in derivatives markets, those small moves can translate into millions of dollars. And every cent by which a bank benefited from manipulation meant an equal loss by a bank, hedge fund or other investor on the other side of the trade. Story by Steve Slater and Cezary Podkul for Reuters.
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 14.30 percent, slightly above last week’s average of 14.29 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.35 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.12 percent.