LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 3, 2013
As Rules Change, More Retailers Offer Discounts for Cash Payments
Some gas stations and merchants are now offering discounts for cash payments since new rules from a January 27 settlement allow businesses to charge up to 4 percent more on credit card transactions. But they must share their intentions with credit card companies and have clear signs telling customers about their policy. Story by Abha Bhattarai for the Washington Post.
Paid Via Card, Workers Feel Sting of Fees
A growing number of American workers are having to pay a fee to get their wages because paper paychecks and even direct deposit have been replaced by prepaid cards issued by their employers. Employees can use these cards, which work like debit cards, at an ATM to withdraw their pay. But using the card involves a fee. Fees add up quickly and can take such a big bite out of paychecks that some employees end up making less than the minimum wage once the charges are taken into account. Story by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Stephanie Clifford for The New York Times.
Some Republicans Dig In Against Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
As part of an ongoing drumbeat of opposition to the CFPB, U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus introduced legislation to change control of the bureau from a single director to a five-member, bipartisan commission. While most of this is party politics, one issue that potentially has legs stems from the fact that the CFPB in March accused auto lenders of giving dealers too much leeway to set the final interest rates on loans negotiated at the dealership. Dealers earn a cut of the interest rate. Story by Jim Henry for Forbes.
Special Summer Perks from Your Credit Card
If you are looking for things to do this summer, your credit card could give you free or discounted tickets to museums and theme parks, as well as some lucrative travel benefits. These perks can save you money but you have to know they are available. The description of the perks and benefits can be found in your card’s welcome packet or online. Here are six perks to credit cards you may not be aware of. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.
Protect Credit Cards From Wireless Theft
New RFID credit cards designed to make shopping easier also make it easier for thieves to steal your credit card information. Fortunately, you can protect yourself with a few simple steps. A number of companies now sell wallets that have RFID blockers built in. But in 2011, Consumer Reports found that many of the blockers didn’t perform as well as promised and that none did as well as simply wrapping the cards in tinfoil. A slightly more attractive option: credit card sleeves made of Tyvek. They are inexpensive–50 cents buys you added security, and you don’t have to explain why your wallet is covered in tinfoil. Story by Constantine Von Hoffman for CBS Moneywatch.
CFPB Orders $6.5 Million in Refunds to Service Members for Auto Loans
The CFPB ordered U.S. Bank and its nonbank partner to pay nearly $6.5 million to members of the U.S. military who were misled about terms and fees of their auto loans. Service members who participated in the Military Installment Loans and Educational Services (MILES) auto loan program operated by U.S. Bank and its nonbank partner, Dealers’ Financial Services, may benefit from the order by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Service members who have received MILES loans since January 1, 2010 may receive restitution. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com.
GOP Senator Demands Review of CFPB’s Data Grab
The top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee wants a government watchdog to take a long, hard look at the data collected by the CFPB. Senator Mike Crapo wants the GAO to determine exactly what data the CFPB is collecting, and for what purpose and how the bureau protects the privacy of the information collected, and how much it is paying outside parties to gather it. Story by Peter Schroeder for The Hill.
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 14.32 percent, identical to last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.31 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.32 percent.