LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 10, 2014

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 10, 2014

January 10, 2014         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Target: Up to 70 Million More Customers Were Hit by December Data Breach
Target said Friday that the massive cyber attack it suffered during the height of the holiday shopping season may have affected an additional 70 million customers and swept up far more information than it originally reported. The giant retailer told customers in December that up to 40 million customers’ credit and debit card information had been stolen. But now the company says that an additional 70 million customers also may have had their personal information–including names, mailing addresses, e-mail address and phone numbers–stolen. Story by Amrita Jayakumar for the Washington Post.

How Hack Attacks Can Cost You Money
Recent hacks of millions of usernames, passwords and credit cards have many asking: What’s the worst that could happen? In a recent case like Target’s 40 million stolen credit and debit card accounts, hackers can make fraudulent cards. Consumers aren’t likely to suffer too much though. Individuals will have to cancel their accounts and wait for replacement cards, but banks will take the financial hit. It’s a much bigger problem when criminals make off with lists of usernames and passwords, as they did by hacking Adobe in October. Cybersecurity experts say that makes it easier to break into your email–and after that, everything else. Story by Jose Pagliery for CNN Money.

Card Conundrum Develops in Colorado Over Marijuana Sales
Buying marijuana for recreational use now is legal in Colorado-and paying for it with plastic is getting easier. The official rules of Visa and MasterCard prohibit the use of their debit and credit cards for marijuana purchases, but some Colorado merchants are allowing customers to use them anyway. That is because the card giants, owners of the processing networks that handle electronic payments, have quietly decided not to enforce their rules, according to people familiar with their strategies. Instead, the people said, the companies are following the lead of the federal government, which has said it won’t challenge state laws that decriminalize the drug. Story by Robin Sidel for The Wall Street Journal.

Top Ten Signs of Identity Theft
Recent security breaches at Target, Skype and Snapchat show that identity theft has become a major problem in our society. Unfortunately, personal information, email, credit cards and bank accounts are not as private and protected as we think. It is important for consumers to recognize suspicious activity and take steps to protect themselves. Here are the top 10 signs of identity theft. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Consumer Debt Grows at Slowest Pace in Six Months
Americans’ nonmortgage debt grew in November at the slowest pace in six months, a sign consumers may have been cautious about spending during the holidays. The weaker growth largely reflected consumers reining in credit card borrowing. So-called revolving credit grew at a 0.6% rate in November, down from a sharp 5.6% rise in October. Story by Josh Mitchell for The Wall Street Journal.

Credit Card Swipe Fee Set to Enter Next Round
The 8-year-long fight between retailers and MasterCard and Visa over credit card swipe fees is expected to last another year or longer, with the nation’s largest retail group joining the legal battle against a settlement that was supposed to end the dispute. The National Retail Federation is appealing a controversial settlement of a swipe fee lawsuit that was approved Dec. 13 by U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in federal court in Brooklyn. Story by Joan Verdon for New Jersey.com

Steep Penalties Taken in Stride by JPMorgan Chase
To settle a barrage of government legal actions over the last year, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to penalties that now total $20 billion, a sum that could cover the annual education budget of New York City or finance the Yankees’ payroll for 10 years. It is also a figure that most of the nation’s banks could not withstand if they had to pay it. But since the financial crisis, JPMorgan has become so large and profitable that it has been able to weather the government’s legal blitz, which has touched many parts of the bank’s sprawling operations. Story by Peter Eavis for The New York Times.

Target Breach Won’t be the Last Identity Theft
News of the cyber-crooks who stole information from up to 40 million debit and credit cards used at Target stores might seem as old as a Christmas tree sitting on the curb waiting for recycling. But make no mistake, consumers still will feel the aftershock of one of the largest retailer data breaches ever, which took place between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Identity theft is bound to be an even hotter topic in 2014. Story by Susan Tompor for Detroit Free Press.

NY Transit Agency Plans to Turn Smartphones Into Subway Passes
The New York City MetroCard turned 20 years old this week, but its death is already near. In five years’ time, the MetroCard that 7.7 million people use daily to access NYC subways and buses will likely be extinct, a souvenir of the city’s past. The plastic and paper MetroCards are expected be replaced with near-field communication or radio frequency technology that allows riders to use key chains, credit cards, or their smartphones to tap rather than slide through subway turnstiles or dip into bus buckets. Story by Samantha Shankman for NBC News.

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 14.48 percent, slightly higher than last week’s average of 14.46 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.34 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.34 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