LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 30, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–June 30, 2019

June 30, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Citi Makes Sweeping Changes to its Credit Card Rewards Programs
Citi is overhauling its credit card rewards programs, and consumers may not be all too pleased with the changes. The bank is eliminating numerous perks from many of its cards, including the Price Rewind feature that allowed consumers to get a partial refund on items purchased online if the sales price subsequently dropped. The benefits will be phased out on Sept. 22 for existing card holders. Other perks being eliminated include worldwide car rental insurance, trip cancellation & interruption protection, worldwide travel accident insurance, trip delay protection, baggage delay protection, lost baggage protection, extended warranty and roadside assistance dispatch service. Story by Jacob Passy for MarketWatch

Airlines Want You to Think They’re Offering the Best Credit Card Deals Mid-Flight
Though in-flight credit card offers may be enticing with bonus offers and companion ticket awards, experts say to hold off. It’s smarter to wait until you can adequately compare how the offer stacks up to others, and you might not want to share personal information over public Wi-Fi, or on paper forms collected by the staff. Story by Erica Lamberg for Business Insider

Barclaycard Arrival Plus is Closing to New Applications
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is making a departure. Barclays has announced it will soon stop accepting new applications for the travel rewards card. A Barclays representative confirms that affiliate sites are being notified and that the issuer will stop accepting applications for the card, and for personal loans, on its own website. The news follows the closure of the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard to new applicants a few weeks earlier. Story by Sara Rathner for Nerd Wallet

How Hackers Used Little-Known Credit Card Feature to Defraud Woman $1.99 at a Time
Robison is the victim of a trend in credit card fraud in which criminals buy cheap, recurring digital subscriptions that largely go unnoticed by banks and consumers. Meanwhile, major companies now automatically receive updated credit card details when a customer’s card is lost or stolen, so recurring charges don’t stop. Thieves seize on that service to continue their frauds even when consumers get new cards, cybersecurity experts said. Story by Christian Hetrick for The Philadelphia Inquirer

Former Equifax Exec Gets 4 Months in Prison for Insider Trading After Breach
A former Equifax executive who sold his stock in the consumer credit reporting firm before it announced a massive data breach has been sentenced to four months in federal prison for insider trading. Jun Ying, former chief information officer for the company’s US Information Solutions, was also ordered to pay about $117,000 in restitution and a $55,000 fine. Story by Steven Musil for CNet

Banks May Force United, Others to Change Loyalty Programs
Over the last couple of months, United has been increasingly bold in their frustration with JP Morgan Chase, the exclusive credit card vendor and, technically, their largest customer. But United is not happy with Chase’s performance in issuing new cards. Chase Ultimate Rewards products (Sapphire Reserve, Preferred, Ink, Freedom, etc.) offer the bank’s own proprietary currency and compete with potential and current United card customers. They offer better benefits and their ability to transfer to United amongst other travel partners. Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to nine airlines (including United) and three hotel chains at a 1:1 ratio. Story by Kyle Stewart for Live And Let’s Fly

Google Pay Expands Its Integration with PayPal to Online Merchants
Google and PayPal have been strategic partners for some time. The companies in 2017 announced that PayPal would become a payment method in Android Pay, the service that later rebranded as Google Pay. Last year, users who added PayPal as a payment method on Google Pay could then pay for services like Gmail, YouTube, Google Play and Google Store purchases via a PayPal option in Google Pay. Now, a similar integration is making its way to online merchants who accept Google Pay on their website or mobile app. Story by Sarah Perez for Tech Crunch

A New Survey Shows the U.S. Leads in Mobile Payments But Trails in Contactless
A survey of more than 3,000 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, sponsored by Transaction Network Services, shows the heaviest adoption of mobile-payment apps in the U.S., at 59% of respondents, but the highest adoption of contactless payments in the U.K., at 79%. Perhaps not surprisingly, younger consumers were more likely to use a mobile-payment app on a smart phone. Of those 16 to 24 years old, 71% said they would, as did 73% of those 25 to 34 years old. The likelihood begins to fall with 59% for 35-to-44 year old consumers, and drops to 42% for the 45-to-54 group and 28% for the 55-to-64 segment. Story by Kevin Woodward for Digital Transactions

Debit Card Rewards Are in Decline, but Still Used by a Valuable Consumer Segment
Debit card rewards are in decline but still used by a valuable consumer segment. In 2014, 46% of consumers had debit cards with rewards. Today, only 40% do. But the millennial segment are using debit rewards, and financial institutions are eager to court millennials long term. Debit rewards users are younger (46% are between the age of 18-34), less educated, and likely to earn less than $50K a year. The converse is also true: consumers not motivated by debit rewards are older (61% are over 41 years old), better educated, and more likely to earn over $100K. Making this distinction is important, because rewards programs are expensive to enroll and maintain. Each card holder enrolled in a loyalty program costs more than $50 annually to service. Story in Payments Journal

Bank of America Rolls Out Digital Debit Card
Bank of America is offering faster access to customers waiting for a debit card to arrive in the mail. A new checking account customer or an existing customer who lost a physical card typically wait five to seven days for the newly issued card to come in the mail. But B of A will now immediately issue a digital debit card for those customers to use in the meantime. The digital card is available through the mobile app. Users can make payments via mobile wallet or online, as well as access one of B of A’s cardless ATMs, until their physical card arrives. Story by Caroline Hudson for The Charlotte Business Journal

Razer Goes Big on Payments with Visa Prepaid Card
The latest pairing between a tech upstart and a financial titan is a digital prepaid card targeted at Southeast Asia’s 430 million-plus unbanked and underserved population. Razer, the Singapore-based company best known for its gaming laptops and peripherals, announced a partnership with Visa to develop a Visa prepaid solution. The service, which allows unbanked users to top up and cash out easily, will be available as a mini program embedded in Razer Pay, the gaming company’s mobile payments app. That means Razer’s 60 million registered users will be able to pay at any of the 54 million merchant locations around the world that take Visa. Story by Rita Liao for Tech Crunch



The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 30, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


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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.
View all posts by Bill Hardekopf
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