LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 20, 2020

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Contact Your Credit Card Issuer: Fees or Payments May Be Waived Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Your credit card company may cut you some slack during the coronavirus pandemic. With repercussions from the outbreak including job cuts, furloughs and business closings, credit card companies are preparing for some cardholders to have problems making their monthly bills. Credit card issuers have programs that can help cardholders when they need assistance – these often kick in during a disaster such as a hurricane. Story by Mike Snider for USA Today

Credit Card Fraud During Coronavirus: Here’s What to Look Out For
It goes without saying that you should always exercise caution when receiving emails with attachments or phone calls from someone you don’t know. But as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, hackers may be leveraging your vulnerability to steal your personal data, including your credit card information. Here are some specific tips for staying safe and protecting yourself against credit card fraud during this time. Story by Elizabeth Gravler for CNBC

Millions of Americans Will Soon Run Out of Money. Here’s How to Deal with Bills You Can’t Pay.
The coronavirus has infected the global economy and millions of Americans now out of work are trying to figure out what to do with no paycheck coming in. It’s scary to see the bills piling up and no money coming in, but don’t panic. Take a deep breath and start looking for things you can do to ease the financial strain. Some relief is already in place and more steps are being taken every day to help you get through this difficult time. Story by Herb Weisbaum for NBC News

Delivering Stimulus Funds Via Paper Checks Will Slow Down The Recovery Process
As Congress and the White House begin to debate the size and shape of an incipient stimulus program that entails giving money to taxpayers, it is worth pondering the actual execution of any such plan. Previous stimulus programs entailed the government mailing a physical check to its citizens. However, paper checks are costly to execute, take a lot of time to print and distribute, and necessitate millions of person-to- person transactions at a time when we are striving to reduce such contacts. Instead of mailing paper checks for any stimulus payments the federal government should do either real time disbursements using existing networks or via prepaid credit cards for people without a bank account. Story by Ike Brannon for Forbes

Fed Rate Cut Lowers Interest Rates to Near Zero
The Federal Reserve Board announced an emergency rate cut on Sunday, March 15, lowering interest rates to near zero. This rate cut comes less than two weeks after the Fed cut interest rates by half a point and marks continued effort to minimize the economic impact of the coronavirus. The latest Fed rate cut lowers interest rates by 100 basis points, compared to 50 basis points from the March 4 rate cut. This will likely cause a 1% decrease in interest rates on many financial products, such as credit cards, mortgages, loans, savings accounts and more. Story by Alexandria White for CNBC

Coronavirus Is A Blessing In Disguise For Visa And Mastercard
The Coronavirus pandemic may be a blessing in disguise for electronic payment companies, specifically Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA). With a huge shift away from in-person shopping and a surge in online shopping, transactions taking place through their payment rails can be expected to see a short-term boost. Additionally, this pandemic may lead countries to re-think the need for cash and place a heavier emphasis on a transition to digital and card payments as more sanitary. Story in Seeking Alpha

Department of Justice Launches Investigation against FICO for Exclusionary Conduct
The Department of Justice opened a civil investigation against the Fair Isaac Corporation. The DOJ’s Antitrust Division is looking into FICO’s policies for signs of “potentially exclusionary conduct.” Exclusionary conduct refers to a monopoly over an industry that creates a disadvantage for competitors. FICO has long been a namesake in consumer lending, and is the only credit scoring agency accredited by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Lenders do have the option to choose whichever scoring method they prefer, including VantageScore from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com

Chase and United Launch United Club Infinite Card with 100k Welcome Offer
Chase and United have just launched a new premium credit card with an enormous limited-time welcome bonus. The United Club Infinite Card a step up from the United Club Card and is offering new cardholders 100,000 miles after spending $5,000 in purchases in the first three months from account opening. After earning that immense welcome bonus, cardholders will enjoy 4x miles per dollar spent on United purchases, 2x on all other travel and dining and 1x on everything else. The card also sports a ton of extra perks and benefits, such as a United Club Membership, $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, as well as your first and second checked bags free. Story by Joe Wituschek for Android Central

As Coronavirus Spreads, Banks Face a Tough Call on Branch Closures
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing U.S. banks to begin closing branches indefinitely, an unprecedented measure that could curb the virus’s spread but rattle customers who expect instant access to their money. JPMorgan Chase said it would close 20% of its nearly 5,000 branches starting Thursday. The bank already had scaled back weekday hours at its branches. Capital One on Monday closed about a quarter of its 461 branches—about half in New York City—to “minimize health risks from the coronavirus.” As the coronavirus pandemic spreads throughout the U.S., banks occupy a unique position. They are among the few businesses deemed essential and not subject to government-ordered shutdowns. Story by Orla McCaffrey for The Wall Street Journal

Restaurants Slash Mobile Ordering Fees as America Takes Shelter
As restaurants across the United States shutter dine-in locations and switch to carry-out and delivery-only options, many fast casuals are discounting or totally waiving delivery fees in an effort to not only help keep their businesses alive but to also make it easier for Americans to access food. Story by Cherryh Cansler for Mobile Payments Today

Why I’m Not Going to ‘Burn’ My Miles for Merchandise
There’s no question about it — following the coronavirus outbreak, people around the world are struggling financially. And if they aren’t yet, they may be soon. As we explained in this detailed post, there may be an emergency stash available to you that you may not have considered: liquidating points and miles for gift cards, merchandise or even cash back. If you’re running out of options and need to put food on the table, it’s something you might want to think about. But if you can afford to keep your loyalty programs intact, that’s certainly what I’d recommend. I’ll explain why. Story by Zach Honig for The Points Guy

Bank of America to Give $100 Million for Coronavirus Relief
Bank of America will donate $100 million to help communities hurt by the coronavirus, the bank said Tuesday. The money will go to both local and national organizations, the bank said, to help increase medical capacity, address food insecurity, and boost access to learning in the wake of school closures. Story by Austin Weinstein for The Charlotte Observer

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 20, 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.


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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