LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 24, 2020

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 24, 2020

July 24, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Banks Are Closing Credit Cards And Slashing Credit Limits Amid The Pandemic
As the economic fallout of the pandemic continues to unfold, banks are rushing to close credit card accounts or slash credit limits to curb their risk. One in 4 Americans with credit cards said they had an account involuntarily shut down from mid-May to mid-July, while 1 in 3 said their credit limit was reduced, according to a new report from CompareCards.com. This follows a similar rate of reductions in April and comes as many Americans battle joblessness and uncertain economic futures, but now with reduced access to credit. Story by Denitsa Tsekova for Yahoo Finance

Credit Card CEO Warns Of Dark Times When $600 Unemployment Benefit Expires
Margaret Keane has been in the credit card business for 40 years and she’s seeing something she never expected: There’s mass unemployment, yet Americans are paying their bills on time. In normal times, that’d be good sign of financial responsibility. But in the pandemic era, it may just be the calm before the storm. Keane, the CEO of Synchrony Financial, the nation’s biggest store credit card company, says Americans will have trouble staying current on their credit card bills once generous forbearance programs and the $600 boost to unemployment benefits fade away. “As forbearance and stimulus wears off, we’re definitely in a rockier place.” Story by Matt Egan for CNN

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Get 20% Off At Amazon With Eligible Citibank Credit Cards
For the last several months, Amazon has been offering discounts to many American Express and Discover credit card holders. But if you have a Citibank credit card and have been feeling left out, there’s good news to report, as eligible Citi cards that earn ThankYou Rewards points now also have a discount they can utilize. From now through Sept. 30, shoppers with targeted Citi Thank You credit cards can get 20% off their Amazon purchases, for up to $30 in savings when they pay for a portion of their purchase with Thank You points. Story by Julian Kheel for CNN

Mastercard Expands Cryptocurrency Card Payment Program With Wirex Deal
Mastercard has conferred its Mastercard principal status on cryptocurrency exchange operator Wirex. The U.K.-based company is now set to be the first cryptocurrency platform allowed to issue the finance-industry titan’s payment cards to its account holders. The move is part of a broader initiative by Mastercard to become more of a partner to businesses active in the cryptocurrency space. Story by Eric Volkman for The Motley Fool

American Express Launches Buy-Now, Pay-Later Service
With people under financial pressure during these challenging times, many are turning to what are known as “Buy Now, Pay Later” services to make their purchases. A new option is Plan It, American Express’ new instalment-based program for Amex cardholders. It’s really quite simple, and the costs are transparent. You get your Amex statement, and via their app, you choose a portion of your balance to be paid off over three, six, nine, or twelve months. Over that period of time, you pay no interest on that amount, you do pay a smaller monthly fee. Story by Trevor Long for EFTM

Entrust Datacard Survey Shows Consumers Prefer Contactless
A new survey by Entrust Datacard shows the vast majority of U.S. payment cardholders, or 75%, prefer using contactless cards over other forms of payment, including chip insert, magnetic stripe, mobile payments and cash, amid safety concerns linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. The report  showed that 83% of respondents said contactless cards are here for the long haul and 61% consider it a priority to have a contactless feature on their credit or debit cards. Story by Mobile Payments Today

Wirecard Hires Alix Partners For Forensic Investigation
German payments company Wirecard has hired Alix Partners for a forensic investigation of the accounting scandal that led to its collapse.  The blue-chip company filed for insolvency last month, owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a $2.17 billion hole in its accounts that auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud. Alix Partners has been given the task of finding out which Wirecard employees, including executive and supervisory board members, knew what about potentially criminal incidents. Story by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Hubner for Reuters

Many Consumers Don’t Understand These 5 Basic Credit Score Concepts
The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and VantageScore Solutions, LLC, released their 10th annual consumer credit survey. Low-income households were revealed to be most likely to apply for credit in the next 12 months amid the recession and a global pandemic, yet consumers with lower incomes tend to know the least about credit scores. A large number of all consumers illustrated that they also couldn’t answer some of the most basic credit concepts. Story by Elizabeth Gravler for CNBC

Organizations With Poor Privacy Practices 80% More Likely To Suffer Data Breach
Companies with inadequate data privacy practices are 80 percent more likely to suffer a data breach than those with the highest-ranked privacy practices and will face fines seven times larger than companies with the best scores in the event of a data breach. Companies with the lowest privacy scores lost 600% more records than high-scoring companies. Story in Help Net Security

Of The 355 Million Rewards Card Accounts, How Many Are At Risk Due To Covid?
The safest accounts look to be the 225 million cash back rewards accounts. Of the 175 million non-co-brand rewards cards, 35 million have annual fees and therefore hold additional risk of attrition. Of the 225 million commercial co-branded cards, 100 million have annual fees and therefore hold additional risk of attrition, and 55 million of them are within the airline and travel sectors, which pose additional risk. Mercator predicts that combined attrition could affect half of consumer credit card accounts in the US in the next year. Story in Payments Journal

Mastercard Promoting Sustainable Credit Cards
Mastercard is promoting the use of sustainable credit cards, helping issuers in more than a dozen countries offer cards made from recyclable, bio-sourced, chlorine-free, degradable and ocean-safe plastics. The company said the industry currently produces 6 billion cards a year made out of traditional PVC plastics.  They are replaced every three to four years, and expired cards end up in the world’s landfills. To promote greater use of environmentally conscious cards, the company is rolling out a new directory of sustainable materials and vendors so that banks can more easily offer ecofriendly versions. Story in PYMNTS

The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 24, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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bill-hardekopf

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.