Is It Better to Overdraft a Checking Account or a Credit Card?

In desperate times, having the ability to overdraft your checking or credit card account can come in handy. It's like an instant personal loan without having to fill out an application. Of course, this loan has to be paid back right away … Continue reading

Study Shows Consumers Need Clearer Disclosures on Bank Fees

For the third year in a row, Pew Charitable Trusts conducted a study analyzing the disclosure, dispute resolution and overdraft policies for 45 of the top 50 largest retail banks in America. The 2015 Checks and Balances report shows banks … Continue reading

Customer Satisfaction Drops As Bank Fees Increase

Customer satisfaction levels for banks are dropping due to rising fees, according to a report released this week from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Credit unions continue to rank best among the financial services providers with an ACSI score of … Continue reading Weekly Credit Card Update–November 7, 2014

Here's How the New Chip and PIN Credit Cards Could be DOA A recent Gallup survey found that 69% of Americans worry "frequently" or "occasionally" about having a credit card compromised by computer hackers. It's not shocking. Consumers are becoming … Continue reading

Banks on Military Bases Need Greater Transparency for Troops

Many banks on military bases do not offer the protection or transparency soldiers need to make informed decisions about their finances, according to a new report from Pew Charitable Trusts. The study reveals a strong need for safe financial products … Continue reading Weekly Credit Card Update–October 24, 2014

Staples Investigates Reports of Possible Credit Card Data Breach The world's biggest office-supply retailer is investigating reports of a possible data breach of Staples customers' credit cards after banks detected a pattern of unusual charges concentrating on a group of … Continue reading Weekly Credit Card Update–October 10, 2014

Banks in U.S. Moving to Chip-Based Debit and Credit Cards In the coming year, banks in the United States are likely to replace debit or credit cards with versions that have tiny computer chips embedded in them, a move aimed … Continue reading

Do Credit Cards Let You Go over the Credit Limit?

Every credit card comes with a credit limit--a virtual cap on the amount of money you can charge to the card. This limit is set based on your credit worthiness and the specific card you have. When an emergency situation … Continue reading

5 Tips For Credit Card Management In Your 20’s

Your 20’s are an important time in your life. It is usually when you are first given the burden of handling and managing your own money. For many, this can be liberating, but it also comes with its own set … Continue reading Weekly Credit Card Update–August 8, 2014

Why You Have To Start Paying Down Your Credit Cards Right Now Federal Reserve meetings aren't high on most people's list of interesting things, but if you have a credit card and carry a balance, you should probably start paying … Continue reading Weekly Credit Card Update–March 14, 2014

How Target Blew It Poring over computer logs, Target found FireEye's alerts from November 30 and more from December 2, when hackers installed yet another version of the malware. Not only should those alarms have been impossible to miss, they … Continue reading

Saving Money on Prepaid Card Fees

Prepaid debit cards have become incredibly popular, but most people don't realize how many fees can be associated with these cards. Whether you use prepaid cards as an alternative to a checking account or as a budgeting tool, you can … Continue reading

The Appeal of Prepaid Debit Cards

Two new surveys from the Pew Charitable Trusts show that prepaid debit cards have become a popular alternative to checking accounts for more Americans. Consumers loaded $64.5 billion onto prepaid debit cards in 2012, a 13% increase from the $56.8 billion in 2011, and … Continue reading

Free Checking Accounts More Available in Small Banks

In June, 2011, the Federal Reserve limited the fees banks could charge retailers for debit card purchases to $0.24 per transaction. This was a significant decrease from the previous average of $0.43 per swipe. Many analysts thought banks would make … Continue reading

Mobile Banking Likely to Cost Consumers

More Americans are turning to mobile banking because it is fast, convenient and free. You can manage your accounts directly from your smartphone, whether it be deposits or transfers. What would happen if you suddenly had to pay for this … Continue reading

American Express Serve Expands Efforts to Reach Unbanked Customers

Serve from American Express is a reloadable prepaid card that is targeting the growing market of unbanked and underbanked consumers. The program underwent a mini-makeover earlier this year when it partnered with Chegg, and is getting a fresher facelift. Serve … Continue reading

An Occupy Wall Street Debit Card?

Prepaid debit cards--it seems just about every celebrity has tied their name to one. Justin Bieber. The Kardashians. Magic Johnson. Suze Orman. Even cartoon characters. Now add the Occupy Wall Street folks. It may be hard to believe but on … Continue reading

Bank Customers Naive about Their Fees

Consumers may be paying a lot more in bank fees than they realize, if you analyze two surveys which show drastically different results. A survey by the American Bankers Association showed that 55% of the respondents thought they had no bank … Continue reading

Most Americans Still Have Free Checking Accounts

When the economic downturn hit five years ago, many analysts predicted that free checking accounts would become a thing of the past. After all, regulations such as the CARD Act and Dodd-Frank bill cut some of the revenue streams of … Continue reading

Discover Luring Banks with Lower Fees

Visa and MasterCard have had a stronghold for quite some time on supplying banks with credit and debit cards. But Discover is making efforts to change that. Discover Financial Services has been in negotiation with several banks recently trying to … Continue reading

McDonald’s Franchise Discontinues Mandatory Payroll Debit Cards

The McDonald's franchise that created some negative media attention by only paying employees with fee-heavy debit cards has consented to offer other payment options to their workers. The franchise operated 16 stores in northeast Pennsylvania and paid employees with a payroll debit card, … Continue reading Weekly Credit Card Update–June 21, 2013

Young Americans Are Ditching Credit Cards The number of young Americans who are living without credit cards has doubled since the recession. About 16% of consumers ages 18 to 29 didn't have a single credit card by the end of … Continue reading

Are Consumers Getting Ripped Off by Overdraft Fees?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now investigating bank overdraft practices since consumers paid $32 billion in overdraft fees in 2012. The CFPB study shows overdraft coverage varies significantly by financial institution and that consumers who sign up for overdraft coverage … Continue reading Weekly Credit Card Update–April 19, 2013

ATM Fees on the Rise Using an ATM outside of your bank's network is becoming more expensive. The average fee a bank charged a non-customer for using their ATM in 2012 was $2.10, a 20 percent increase from the $1.75 … Continue reading Weekly Credit Card Update January 18

Banks Bury Fees in the Fine Print Pew's annual Safe Checking study has uncovered a number of items and fees that most consumers wouldn't have a clue about until they got hit with them. From mandatory arbitration clauses that waive jury … Continue reading Weekly Credit Card Update December 7

Credit Card Penalty Payments are Arriving More than $425 million in refunds and restitution will soon be sent to millions of consumers nationwide, penalties paid for deceptive credit card practices. And another $410 million--from Bank of America--is already landing in … Continue reading

Banks Extend Waivers for Sandy Victims

Some of the nation's biggest banks have extended temporary waivers through Wednesday, November 7 on a variety of fees and late charges for residents of states hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. The banks waiving fees include JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, … Continue reading

LowCards Weekly Credit Card Update October 12

Wal-Mart and AmEx in Prepaid Card Deal Wal-Mart Stores is taking another leap into the banking world, announcing on Monday a prepaid card and debit account with American Express that will give low-income consumers access to features like smartphone deposits. … Continue reading