LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 17, 2014

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–January 17, 2014

January 17, 2014         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Millions Getting New Debit, Credit Cards After Target Hack
Millions of consumers are being sent new credit and debit cards in the wake of the recent security breach that hit as many as 110 million Target customers. JPMorgan Chase announced Tuesday that it is replacing 2 million credit and debit cards due to the hack. Other major issuers haven’t released the number of cards they’re replacing, but did confirm they are sending new cards to certain customers. Bank of America and Wells Fargo both said they are reissuing cards that they believe are “at risk of” fraud, while American Express said it has replaced “a small number” of cards–mostly at the request of customers. Story by Blake Ellis for CNN Money.

Hackers Steal Credit Card Data from Neiman Marcus Customers
Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus announced that customers’ credit card data may have been stolen in a hack similar to the Target security breach that affected millions. Neiman Marcus said in a statement that it started to hear reports of customer’s credit cards being compromised in mid-December after they shopped at Neiman Marcus stores. On Jan. 1 the company found evidence that hackers had breached its cyber-security. Story by Gillian Mohney for ABC News.

Get Ready For A Flood Of Credit Card Offers From Your Bank
The recession years had one pleasant side effect–a drop in the number of credit card offers filling consumers’ mailboxes. But now that all the banks have learned their lessons and will never again lend out money to people who won’t pay it back, they are once again ramping up the credit card offers. The difference this time is that the banks are focusing these credit card offers on existing customers rather than blasting out applications to every person with a mailing address. Story by Chris Morran for Consumerist.

The Credit Card Shuffle
If you want to know just how much money credit card companies make from their typical customer, take a look at how much they are willing to offer as an incentive to sign up. The initial bonuses–in reward points, frequent-flier miles and even cash–are generally far more lucrative than the continuing rewards for established customers. They are one of the best freebies around, and, what’s more, they are getting better. Story by Brett Arends for The Wall Street Journal.

JPMorgan 4Q Profit Falls 7 Percent on Legal Costs
JPMorgan Chase said Tuesday that its profits fell 7 percent in the fourth quarter, hampered by more legal woes and a decline in the bank’s investment banking business. The bank reported net income of $5.28 billion in the last three months of 2013, down from $5.69 billion in the same period a year earlier. Story by Ken Sweet for the Associated Press.

Protecting Your Financial Accounts From Hackers
Consumers are getting bombarded with news of cyber security attacks at well-known retail stores such as Target and Neiman Marcus. They are concerned about their personal information and are left to wonder what can be done to protect themselves. Here are some steps consumers should take to protect their financial accounts. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

What CFPB Mortgage Rules Mean for You
New rules to prevent irresponsible mortgage loan practices that led to foreclosures during the housing crash may slow the process for consumers as lenders become more cautious vetting a potential  borrower. The new rules that took effect were written by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They will hold mortgage lenders legally responsible for ensuring that consumers can pay back their loans and create a new qualified mortgage category with better protections for borrowers. Approximately 1 in 10 homeowners with a mortgage still owes more than their home is worth. “Throughout the United States, 2 million households still remain at high risk of foreclosure,” Richard Cordray said. “To fix this broken system, the central principles of our mortgage servicing rules are no surprises and no runarounds. Simply put, consumers should not be hit with surprises by those responsible for collecting their payments.” Story by Tim Risen for U.S. News and World Report.

Borrowers are the Winners in the Low-Rates Era
Loose monetary policy has delivered substantial benefits to borrowers of all kinds, from corporations and households to the most indebted entity of them all, the U.S. government. With the Fed taking the first steps to end quantitative easing–its huge stimulus program–it is worth taking a deeper look at the winners and losers in the real economy. Story by Francesco Guerrera 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 14.47 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.48 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.43 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.32 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