LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 31, 2020

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–July 31, 2020

July 31, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

A Third Of Small Business Owners Have Tapped Personal Funds To Stay Afloat
Roughly 35% of small-business owners in a survey said they’ve needed to tap their own funds—via a personal credit card and/or savings, for example—to help prop up their business in the months since the coronavirus whacked the U.S. economy, according to a new survey from CreditCards.com. Other sources serving as a lifeline included business credit cards or a business savings account, and loans (including through the Paycheck Protection Program). Altogether, 70% in the survey said they have leaned on one or more of those sources to remain in business since the coronavirus pandemic began. Story by Sarah O’Brien for CNBC

Americans Are Rapidly Shrinking Their Credit Card Debt During The Pandemic
That’s a sharp contrast with the last two economic downturns. The amount of consumer revolving credit, which is mostly credit cards, plunged by another $24 billion in May, according to the Federal Reserve. This costly form of debt is down more than $100 billion since hitting a record high in February and is now below $1 trillion for the first time in nearly three years. The dwindling pile of credit card debt is yet more evidence of how drastically consumer behavior is changing during the pandemic and this period of financial insecurity. Story by Matt Egan for CNN

Debit And Services Help Mastercard Stay Afloat During the Pandemic
Mastercard reported U.S. credit volume was down 21% year-over-year to $179 billion. Conversely, Mastercard’s U.S. debit and prepaid card purchase volume rose 13% to $226 billion even though the number of debit transactions slipped 2% to 4.91 billion. That combination pushed the average U.S. debit ticket 16% higher to $46.05 from $39.70 in 2019’s second quarter. Mastercard said its online purchase volume and contactless transactions at the point of sale are way up. Story by Jim Daly for Digital Transactions

How Much Stimulus Check Money Could You Get?
We have a good idea how much money a second stimulus check could put in your pocket now that Senate Republicans have officially presented their HEALS Act. The new proposal matches the $1,200 payment set up in the first stimulus check as well as what House Democrats put forward with the Heroes Act back in May. But that doesn’t mean the full $1,200 is yours. How much money you wind up with depends on a range of factors, including how many dependents you have. Then there’s the biggest factor of all: whether Congress can work out its differences and pass a stimulus package. Story by Clifford Colby and Erin Carson for CNet

Consumer Finance Complaints Skyrocket During Pandemic
Year over year, there was an 84% increase in the number of consumer complaints to the CFPB related to “credit reporting, credit repair services, or other personal consumer reports,” a 77% increase in the number of complaints related to “money transfer, virtual currency, or money service,” a 29% increase in the number of complaints related to “credit card or prepaid card,” and a 41% decrease in the number of complaints related to “student loan.” Story by Deb Nicolson for Patch

Earn 5% Cash Back On Groceries With This New Chase Freedom Unlimited Offer
If you don’t already have a Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card, right now might be the perfect time to consider one. New Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders can earn $200 in bonus cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months after you open the account. But in addition, if you get the card now, you can also earn a whopping 5% cashback on your grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) in the first year you have the card, up to a maximum of $12,000 in spending. Story by Jennifer Yellin for CNN

Visa, Mastercard Debit Fees Are Hurting Retailers, Sen. Richard Durbin Says
Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin is asking the Federal Reserve to probe allegedly anti-competitive practices that are forcing merchants to pay excessive debit card fees levied during the coronavirus crisis by large networks like Visa and Mastercard. Durbin said practices by the large card networks and debit-card issuers are diminishing competition in the online payments marketplace and costing merchants potentially billions of dollars. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis and Orla McCaffrey for The Wall Street Journal

30 Ways To Stay Protected Against Credit Card Fraud
In 2008, 9.9 million people were victims of identity theft. Ten years later, the number had increased to 14.4 million victims. Credit card fraud is one of the most common types of identity theft. One area that’s seen increasing numbers of reports is new account fraud. Losses for new account fraud reached $3.4 billion in 2018. Here is a detailed guide on the steps to take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of credit card fraud. Story by Tracy Farnsworth for LowCards.com

Can You Trust Your Mobile Payment App?
About half of U.S. adults incorrectly believe that they could reverse a payment made through a peer-to-peer platform. If you change your mind, have a problem, or make a mistake—input the wrong email address or phone number, for instance—you’re usually at the mercy of the recipient. Payment apps usually protect you against unauthorized transactions, but not necessarily against other fraud — and that can be true even if you link to a debit or credit card that otherwise would offer such protections. Many peer-to-peer systems specifically warn people not to pay individuals or businesses they don’t know. Story by Liz Weston for the Associated Press

Point Wants To Provide Credit Card Rewards With Debit Cards
Creating a Point account is more like joining a membership program. When you sign up, you get a debit card with some level of insurance as it’s a Mastercard World Debit card. You can expect some trip cancellation insurance, rental car insurance, purchase insurance, etc. You earn points with each purchase. You get 5x points on subscriptions, such as Spotify and Netflix, 3x points on food, grocery deliveries, and ride-sharing, and 1x points on everything else. Points can be redeemed for dollars — each point is worth $0.01. In addition to that, Point is going to create a feed of offers with discounts, content, events, and more. Due to its premium positioning, Point isn’t free. You have to pay $6.99 per month or $60 per year to join Point. The point doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees. Story by Romain Dillet for Tech Crunch

How Many Contactless Debit Cards Are in Circulation?
Mercator estimates that Visa, the brand on 72% of U.S. debit cards, has 93 million contactless debit cards in the United States. Contactless debit will increase as the big banks put more contactless cards in the market and smaller financial institutions prioritize the investment. When the EMV liability shift kicked off in 2015, the EMV upgrade included contactless enablement; however, many merchants didn’t turn the feature on at the time. Visa reports 80 of the largest 100 merchants to accept contactless cards, resulting in over 60% of in-person card transactions taking place at a contactless-enabled merchant. The story in Payments Journal

JPMorgan Chase Partners With Fintech Start-Up Marqeta To Launch ‘Virtual’ Credit Cards
JPMorgan Chase is ditching plastic for some of its credit cards. The company’s commercial cards team is partnering with Bay Area start-up Marqeta to launch digital-only credit cards. The new function will allow JPMorgan corporate cards to work in mobile wallets such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay immediately — without having to wait for a physical version in the mail. This type of immediate, “virtual” card has historically been used for gig-economy, or contract workers who may need to pay expenses but wouldn’t qualify for a corporate card. Story by Kate Rooney for CNBC

The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 31, 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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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.