LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 24, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–August 24, 2018

August 24, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

How Americans Use Their Credit Cards Differently Across the US
Residents in the Northeast and Upper Midwest generally own more credit cards and have higher credit scores. The region stretching from South Carolina west to Texas and Oklahoma has the lowest average credit scores, ranging from 647 (Mississippi) to 657 (South Carolina and Arkansas), according to a 2017 Experian report. These states generally have higher poverty rates than the national average, according to Census data. Additionally, two Southern states–Mississippi and Florida–are the only two in which secured credit cards are the most popular form of plastic. Story by James Lindsay for Insider

4 Things Experts Think Credit Cards Will Be Used For in the Future
Credit cards are quickly replacing cash, and credit card usage is at an all-time high. As payment technologies like mobile wallets, cash-sharing apps, and cryptocurrency continue to advance, credit cards are transforming to keep up. The ways we use credit cards today may look completely different in the future. Here are four predictions by financial experts: transportation, person-to-person transactions, privacy keepers and artificial intelligence and smart cards. Story by Emily Bloch for Business Insider

Walmart Files Patents For At-Home Virtual Reality Shopping
Walmart has filed two patents regarding virtual reality shopping. They describe a system in which users wear a VR headset and sensory gloves to get an in-store experience at home. Orders placed through the VR program would go to a fulfillment center, where robots would pull orders to submit for shipping. The patents were filed in January but were not published until this month. Story by Bill Hardekopf for Forbes

Citi Card Mailings Slump More Than 60%
Citgroup’s card mailing volumes sank to 18.4 million in July, down 66% versus a year ago, the lowest level since 2010. That follows declines of 53% in May and 65% in June. Total industry personal loan mailings exceed credit card mailings in six of the last seven months. Capital One leads credit card mailings, accounting for 28% of industry volumes in July, with 79 million mailings in July followed by Discover with 43 million. Story by Liz Kiesche for Seeking Alpha

$8 Billion In Bad Credit Card Debt Write-Offs Worry US Banks
With the rate of delinquent credit card holders slowly rising, some banks are scaling back on opening new accounts. Last year, it was reported that credit card debt had surpassed the $1 trillion mark in the U.S., becoming the third consumer lending category that has surpassed $1 trillion in debt in the last few years. Auto loans was the first category first to reach that mark, while student loan debt was second. While the rate of delinquent credit card holders is still low, the numbers have been slowly rising since 2015. Quarterly write-offs of bad credit card debt hit their high at nearly $19 billion in the first quarter of 2010 and fell to $5 billion in 2015. But in the last three years they have gone up to more than $8 billion. Story in PYMNTS

Consumers Double Adoption of Retailer Mobile Apps
As mobile shopping continues to grow, consumers are downloading retailers’ mobile apps at double the rate of years past and conducting more in-app purchases. Some 67 percent of consumers have downloaded a retailer’s app, according to new data from the Synchrony 2018 Digital Study. More than half of those did so specifically for a coupon or discount offer. Nearly half of consumers that have downloaded a retailer’s app use it for purchases, according to a press release. Story by Mobile Payments Today

Hotel Credit Cards Are Cranking Up the Benefits, Here’s Why
If you had a dollar for every time a co-branded hotel credit card got updated this year, you would have enough money to raid the minibar on your next stay. Since January, several major hotel brands have overhauled their co-branded cards. New benefits have been added, high-end cards have been announced and some legacy benefits have disappeared. And it’s all happening at a startling pace. The major hotel cards that were revamped this year all happen to be issued by either Chase or American Express. In part, the improved hotel cards of this year are the result of big contracts signed last year. Story by Claire Tsosie for MarketWatch

Here’s How Much Debt Americans Have at Every Age
Credit cards, student loans, mortgages, car loans, personal loans: Most Americans have a combination of these sources of debt. And despite their best intentions, Americans are digging themselves deeper into a hole each year. The average American now has about $38,000 in personal debt, excluding home mortgages. That’s up $1,000 from a year ago, according to a new study, which also reports that “fewer people said they carry ‘no debt’ this year compared to 2017 (23 percent vs. 27 percent).” Credit cards and mortgages tied as the leading source of debt, followed by student loans and car loans. Story by Megan Leonhardt for CNBC

Faster Payments Drive Higher Debit Card Use for Gig Workers, Small-Biz Owners
Data from a Mastercard study suggests that Uber drivers who activated Uber Instant Pay, the white-label version of its debit push payments service, increased both the transaction volume and spending on their debit cards by 20% over a four-month period, compared to a control group not using the feature. Small-business customers who used rapid merchant settlement to receive funds immediately from merchandise sales used their cards 16% more times and spent 46% more over the next four months, compared with a control group that didn’t activate the settlement feature, according to Mastercard. Story by Kate Fitzgerald for Payments Source

Revolut Launches Metal Debit Card That Gives ‘Cashback’ in Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency users now have access to exclusive benefits and a shiny new way to make real-world purchases. Starting today, Revolut’s heavy-duty, solid metal card is available, and it literally pays you to spend cryptocurrency. Revolut is a banking alternative that offers all the services of a regular bank, only digitally through its app. It’s grown to include trading and investment support, as well as quick, easy foreign exchange. Five cryptocurrencies are currently supported, alongside dozens of international fiat currencies. Story by David Canellis for The Next Web

Costco Takes Only a Slice of Apple Pay
Along with activating contactless payments at its store terminals, Costco has opened its checkout lines to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay. But there’s a catch. Costco confirms it still accepts only Visa credit cards at its stores, including through digital wallets, as part of the deal it struck with Citigroup when it split with longtime cobranded credit card partner American Express in 2015. Because Apple Pay and the other wallet apps are digital form factors for existing cards, the merchant sets the parameters on which cards to accept, and Citi’s deal with Costco specifically narrows acceptance to Visa. The same restriction does not apply to debit cards accepted at Costco. Costco continues to accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit cards for payment on Costco.com. Story by Kate Fitzgerald for Payments Source


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.
View all posts by Bill Hardekopf
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