LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013, Written By Lynn Oldshue

Is a Store Credit Card Right for Your Wallet?
Store credit card offers sound tempting but smart shoppers should consider taking the application home and scrutinizing the terms and conditions before deciding whether to apply for the credit card. For a number of consumers, acquiring a store credit card can put their finances–and their credit score–at risk. Story by Daniel Bortz for US News and World Report.

Inventor of Credit Card Magnetic Strip Made Little Money From It
Ron Klein invented the magnetic credit card strip. His invention changed credit cards forever. In the 1960s, Klein saw the complicated way stores were handling so-called “charge purchases”. He used technology that was similar to that used in reel-to-reel tape recorders to create readable strips on credit cards. Klein said he never made much money off the patent. Story in the Huffington Post.

Credit Card Debt Soars, Yet Delinquency Falls
Credit card debt posted its largest increase in a year, a sign that consumers may be more optimistic about their personal finances. In addition, American households may be using their credit cards more prudently, paying back their loans in a more timely fashion. The delinquency rate on credit cards is at the lowest point since 1990. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Consultants Snap Up Alumni of Consumer Watchdog Agency
Consultants and law firms looking to beef up their knowledge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are snapping up senior employees from the fledgling regulator. This highlights the demand for information about the inner workings of a powerful new agency that polices thousands of companies. The CFPB remains something of a mystery to many market participants. Story by Alan Zibel for the Wall Street Journal.

Warren Urges Senate to Confirm Consumer Watchdog
Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined with a labor group and government watchdog to urge Senate confirmation of the CFPB’s director. Warren’s comments on a national telephone town hall came in response to the Senate GOP’s more than year-long delay in confirming Richard Cordray to head the first federal agency exclusively focused on protecting U.S. consumers. Story by Kevin McCoy at USA Today.

Swipe-Fee Battle Moves to States as Banks Fight Surcharges
Banks and payment networks are pressing state lawmakers to bar retailers from charging customers more to pay with credit cards than with debit cards or cash. In all, about 20 state legislatures are weighing legislation related to payment cards.  The banks are trying to prevent stores from steering buyers to debit transactions because retailers generally have to pay more to banks when their customers use credit cards than when they buy with debit cards. Story by Carter Dougherty for Bloomberg.

Why Do Credit Cards Expire?
Why do credit cards have expiration dates? There are several reasons behind the “good thru” date you see on most credit cards, and some of them may surprise you. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

Feds Will Now Help Resolve Debt Collection Complaints
The CFPB is now taking complaints about all types of consumer debt collection, including those for credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, medical bills and student loans. The CFPB will forward your complaint to the collection agency involved, which then has 15 days to respond with what they have done or plan to do. Story by Herb Weisbaum for Today Money.

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 14.34 percent, slightly above last week’s average of 14.32 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.34 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.33 percent.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 12, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


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