LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 12, 2014

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Bebe Stores Confirms Credit Card Breach
Women’s clothier chain Bebe stores inc. confirmed that hackers had stolen customer card data from stores across the country in a breach that persisted for several weeks last month. Bebe stores said its investigation indicates that the breach impacted payment cards swiped in its U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands stores between Nov. 8, 2014 and Nov. 26, 2014. The data may have included cardholder name, account number, expiration date, and verification code. The company emphasized that purchases made though its web site, mobile site/application, or in Canada or other international stores were not affected. Story by Brian Krebs for KrebsOnSecurity.

‘Tis The Season for Store Credit Cards, but Tread Carefully
You know the drill. You’re at the register ready to pay and the sales clerk asks if you have the store’s credit card. Say no and you can expect to hear the pitch–sign up right now and get a big discount on all the stuff you’re about to buy. That instant discount–often as much as 20 percent off–can be tempting. You could save hundreds of dollars on a large purchase. It’s easy to say “yes” without thinking about the possible repercussions. Don’t be afraid to say no. Story by Herb Weisbaum for CNBC.

Pizza Orders Reveal Credit Card Scheme, and a Secondhand Market
“Who wants pizza?” The seemingly harmless question raised suspicions among police officers in Brooklyn when they saw the query posed repeatedly on Facebook, by users whose profiles they were keeping an eye on because of suspected gang ties. The pizza question was sometimes accompanied by the red-and-blue Domino’s logo. In short, thieves working through lists of stolen credit card numbers were using a smartphone app that orders pizza to see which numbers still worked. When they found a number to be valid, authorities said, the thieves used it to order bigger-ticket items online–while people in pockets of Brownsville and East New York in Brooklyn ate the pizzas. Story by Michael Wilson for The New York Times.

CFTC Bans Use of Credit Cards in Foreign Exchanges
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has approved a ban on credit cards to fund retail foreign exchange and futures accounts. The National Futures Association announced the CFTC had approved its ban. The rule will take effect at the end of January. “Given the highly volatile nature of the forex and futures markets, the substantial risk of loss, and the possibility that a total loss may occur in a very short period of time, the Board has concluded that Members should be prohibited from permitting customers to use credit cards,” said the self-regulatory agency’s original notice. Story by Eric Garcia for MarketWatch.

Sony Data Breach Worse Than Expected
Last month’s data breach at Sony continues to become more concerning. Hackers originally leaked five unreleased movies online and some employees’ Social Security numbers. But now, security firm Identity Finder has found the hack that occurred on November 24 exposed over 47,000 Social Security numbers, including over 15,000 current or former employees. In addition, these numbers appeared more than 1.1 million times on 601 publicly-posted files stolen by hackers. A significant number of files containing the Social Security numbers were accompanied by other personal information, such as full names, dates of birth and home addresses, increasing the chances of identity fraud. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com.

Personal and Business Credit Cards: What’s the Difference?
With so many different kinds of credit cards out there, from cash back and travel rewards to 0% intro APR, it can be difficult to decide which card is best for you. To make matters more complicated, you might come across small business credit cards that offer similar rewards, but that are marketed toward people running a business who need to make big purchases. Depending on the kinds of purchases you make, and how frequently you make them, a business card might be useful to have, even if you don’t run one. Story by Jonathan Roisman for NextAdvisor.

MasterCard to Offer Interactive Payment Cards to its Issuers Around the World
Interactive payment card developer Dynamics has signed a deal with MasterCard that will see the payments network offering the startup’s technology to its issuers around the world. The company’s interactive cards work with existing POS terminals and contain buttons, displays and LEDs, providing consumers “with added choice, flexibility and security at the point of sale.” When a consumer enters the correct unlock code using the card’s buttons, the payment card number is provided on a built-in display for online use and is written to the ‘stripe’ on the back for in-store use. Story Rian Boden for NFC World.

Fed Aims to Signal Shift on Low Rates
Federal Reserve officials are seriously considering an important shift in tone at their policy meeting next week: dropping an assurance that short-term interest rates will stay near zero for a “considerable time” as they look more confidently toward rate increases around the middle of next year. Senior officials have hinted lately that they’re looking at dropping this closely watched interest-rate signal, which many market participants take as a sign rates won’t go up for at least six months. Story by Jon Hilsenrath for The Wall Street Journal.

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.46 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.50 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.48 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.42 percent.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue