LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–April 3, 2020

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–April 3, 2020

April 3, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Credit Cards Rework Offers Amid Travel, Restaurant Spending Drop 
A coronavirus-spurred slowdown in travel and restaurant spending has credit card issuers reworking their offerings. American Express told its Platinum cardholders, who have complained they won’t be able to use their monthly Uber credits for rides, that they can instead use them on Uber’s food-delivery service. Brex Inc., the corporate credit card company focused on startups, is allowing customers to shift rewards toward food delivery and remote collaboration tools and away from ride-sharing, travel and restaurants. Since March 16, spending in travel categories is down as much as 63%, while remote collaboration and delivery spending are up 63%. Story by Olivia Rockeman and Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

New Amex Cardholders Get More Time for Welcome Offer Spending
If you’ve applied for an American Express card in the last three months and wondered how to complete the spending requirement during the coronavirus crisis, American Express is offering some reprieve. Eligible card accounts approved between Dec. 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, will receive a three-month extension to meet card spending requirements. Story by Ariana Arghandewal for The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Reserve Cardholders May Receive a $100 Annual Fee Credit Amid Coronavirus
If you have a high annual fee card, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you may be worried about getting billed for the card’s annual fee while also struggling to pay other bills during this period of economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But you may be in luck. The $100 statement credit is a generous offer from Chase, especially since the Sapphire Reserve’s new $550 annual fee was going into effect on April 1 for existing cardholders. It will be interesting to see if other luxury travel cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, which has a $550 annual fee, will offer a similar credit. Story by Alexandria White for CNBC

Consumers Choose Debit As Preferred Payment Amid Coronavirus 
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, PSCU compared transactions of its owner credit union members on a same-store basis between March 2019 and March 2020. Transaction dollars in grocery stores are higher 41.3% year over year, with debit card incremental spend coming out ahead of credit cards by 3.5 times. The average credit card grocery transaction is higher by $11.41 or 25 percent. The year-over-year increase in debit card drug store transactions came out ahead of credit cards by two times. The incremental debit card purchase amounts with consumer goods were twice as high as credit cards. Story in PYMNTS

Prepaid Cards’ Popularity Continues to Increase 
Last year, the CFPB issued an update to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act that increases protections on prepaid accounts and governs them more similarly to checking accounts. These rules are helping fuel the continued growth of prepaid cards. Their continued popularity as gifts is also helping drive the segment and making companies consider their own branded cards. According to Mercator Advisory Group, $64.5 billion was loaded onto prepaid cards in 2012. That number is projected to be $132.2 billion in 2020 and $141.5 billion in 2021. And becoming more flexible and useful is helping continue the expansion. Story in C Store Decisions

Here’s How to Qualify for a Credit Card When You’ve Just Lost Your Job 
If you’ve recently been laid off, signing up for a new credit card may help you temporarily. In an emergency, credit cards allow you to purchase everyday expenses or even basic essentials like groceries, until your normal cash flow resumes. And if you use a 0% APR credit card while you’re in between jobs, you could even get by without incurring interest. While the best advice is to have a back-up emergency savings ready for scenarios like the coronavirus pandemic, there may be times when getting a credit card after recent unemployment makes sense — but how do you qualify for a credit card if you don’t have a job? Story by Elizabeth Gravler for CNBC

How Brands Can Maintain Loyalty Amid COVID-19 Shutdowns
COVID-19 is drastically affecting short and long-term prospects for businesses. Companies should look at retaining customers during and after the pandemic. Many firms should turn toward incentive and loyalty programs that use virtual prepaid cards to reward customer behaviors during these difficult times. Done right, such programs can provide much-needed discounts to customers while also allowing them to remain viable and relevant during the crisis. Story by Jonathon Hamburg for Loyalty 360

70 Million People Can’t Afford to Wait for Their Stimulus Funds to Come in a Paper Check
April 1 is no joke for the millions of Americans who are economically suffering in this recession and waiting for their promised stimulus payment from the recently enacted CARES Act. The Treasury Secretary optimistically projects that payments could start in 3 weeks for select families. Yet, by my calculations, roughly 70 million American families are likely to have to wait at least another month or more for their money, that will eventually come in an old fashioned paper check and create its own set of delays. The need to eat and live does not follow the payment system’s business hours only. These families will often turn to high cost alternatives like bank overdrafts, payday lenders, and check cashers. Solutions to these problems abound, if only policy makers would prioritize them. Story by Aaron Klein for Brookings

Cash and Credit Cards Are Dirty. Apple Pay Is Looking Better.
Cash is dirty. Credit cards may be even dirtier. The tech giant launched Apple Pay six years ago, but it didn’t bring about the revolution it hoped it would, where mobile payments lead the move toward a cashless society as it had in China. Here in the U.S., there just wasn’t a compelling enough reason for many consumers to change their entrenched routines. Now, though, Apple Pay’s ability to let customers shop inside physical stores and pay for things without having to make physical contact with a counter or card-reader may be the catalyst it needs to finally disrupt the payments industry. Story by Tae Kim for Bloomberg

Capital One Adds New In-App Bonus Eligibility Checker 
The moment after you hit ‘submit’ on a new credit card application can be full of anticipation and fear, especially if you have a lower credit score and are worried you might be rejected. In the last few years we’ve seen issuers leaning on big data to try and reduce the guesswork and avoid disappointing customers by denying their applications. Now, when you apply for Capital One credit cards, you may receive a pop-up message after submitting your application telling you that you didn’t qualify for the original offer you applied for and offering you an alternate option, which may include a different APR, a different credit limit, a different welcome offer or no bonus. Story by Ethan Steinberg for The Points Guy

10 Years of Data Breaches Mark Vulnerable Businesses
The Ponemon Institute says that just in the U.S., the average size of a data breach is 25,575 records with a cost of $150 per record on average. My team researched the biggest breaches registered between 2009-2019 to reveal which businesses are at the greatest risk. Although it is in the public’s interest to know about all, many breaches understandably remain underreported to prevent future crises. Analyzing 252 qualifiable incidents listed on Wikipedia, here’s what we found. Story by Mateusz Romanow for Security Magazine

Grubhub Spending $30 Million to Help Independent Restaurants 
Grubhub is spending $30 million to support 100,000 independent restaurants in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Grubhub said each restaurant will receive $250 that will allow them to offer $10 discounts off any order of $30 or more. Grubhub estimated that the funding could help generate about $100 million in restaurant sales. Thus far, Grubhub said restaurants participating in its current promotions during the crisis have seen sales jump 30%. Story in Mobile Payments Today

The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 3, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

Review LowCards.com Editor’s Top Cards!

2020 Top Credit Cards by Category
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: All credit types welcome to apply!

Featured Low Interest Card
ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®
EDITOR RATING
Featured Low Interest Card
ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No annual fee; $150 statement credit after spending $1,200 in first 90 days; 0% on Purchases for 12 months

Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Reports to all three credit bureaus, perfect credit not required for approval

Petal® Visa® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Petal® Visa® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No fees whatsoever. No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee


bill-hardekopf

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.