LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 27, 2015

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 27, 2015

March 27, 2015         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Google Working on Project to Let You Receive and Pay Bills Directly Inside Gmail
Google’s mission to organize the world’s information is now targeting your physical mailbox. The company is currently working on a project that will allow Gmail users to more easily receive bills in their email inbox instead of their mailbox. Called Pony Express, the service also is designed to let people pay their bills within Gmail, rather than having to go to a telecom or utility company’s website to complete a payment. Story by Jason Del Rey for Re/code.

Point Of Sale Malware Targets Credit And Debit Cards
A new point of sale malware program has taken to attacking the payment terminals themselves to steal all your card details. The malware program isn’t the first to try to target point of sale systems, however this new version is believed to be able to attack any terminal. Dubbed PoSeidon after the point of sale terminals it attacks, it was uncovered by researchers at high profile Cisco’s Security Solutions. The malicious programme uses a technique called memory scraping—which scans the RAM of any infected machine for data resembling credit card numbers. Whilst the transaction is being processed, the data is kept in the RAM in plain text before being encrypted and stored which means that intercepting the information, without anyone knowing, is actually very easy for those in the know. Story by Greg Morris for Tech Aeris.

Five Reasons to Beware of Autopaying Bills
About 61 percent of Americans have set at least one bill to pay automatically. The main reason consumers use autopay is to make sure bills are paid on time. That is vital to their credit scores when it comes to debts like car loans, credit card balances and mortgages, but most other on-time payments are not recorded. A recent study by credit reporting firm Experian Inc, however, suggests that including positive utility payment histories, which is not commonly done, could help elevate the credit scores of millions of Americans. The report also says people with thin credit histories would benefit from having a richer record of payments made. As much as automation can be a positive, there are plenty of catches to be watch out for. Story by Mitch Lipka for Reuters.

One in Four Consumers Willing to Pay for Mobile Banking
New data from SNL Financial indicates one in four consumers would pay for mobile banking if their banks decided to start charging for it. The group asked nearly 4,400 consumers in the United States one simple question: “If your bank charged $3 a month to use its mobile bank app, would you pay to keep using the bank app?” 24% said yes. There was a significant difference by age group: the older the consumer, the less willing to pay a fee for mobile banking. 32% of older millennials (26-35 years old) were willing to pay $3 per month but only 22% of baby boomers (48-66) and 17% of seniors (67+). Gender differences were apparent. Males were more likely to be willing to pay a fee (27%) than females (21%). Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com.

AmEx Clipped by Rival Credit Card Companies
Changing consumer habits, extremely aggressive competition and increased pushback from its merchants are putting heavy pressure on American Express. Rivals are trying to steal away business and are succeeding in some cases. Costco, for example, is ending its 15-year relationship with AmEx and deflecting to Citigroup and Visa starting next March. And airlines that used to give VIP lounge access to AmEx cardholders have been switching in recent years to other credit card companies. Compounding its troubles, AmEx recently lost a major government antitrust lawsuit, a verdict that could damage its ability to compete. Story by Ken Sweet for the Associated Press.

Check Out the Insane Rewards Offered by this New Credit Card
With the Discover it Miles card, you can get 3% cash on everything you buy, at least for the first year. The new addition to Discover’s “it” platform, announced late last month, is geared toward consumers who want to earn travel rewards without having to participate in specific airline loyalty programs. To that end, it’s joining into a competitive pool that already includes the Capital One Venture, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® and others. Discover it Miles rewards program is unusually generous, but not in the way it’s marketed. According to my analysis, this travel rewards card can actually provide the best cash back value of any card on the market. At least for a year. Story by Taylor Tepper for Time.

93 Million Prepaid Cardholders are Unprotected
When it comes to financial services, many consumers are surprised by the range of fees attached to their transactions. From mortgages to checking accounts, credit cards and more, regulations for these products establish the ‘rules of the road ‘for consumers and creditors alike. Yet one financial product with growing popularity has no comparable consumer protection: prepaid cards. With each card issuer also setting its fee schedule and assessments, multiple added costs for usage can widely vary. Fees can include some or all of the following typical transactions: ATM cash withdrawal, balance inquiry, bill payments, card cancellation, inactivity, monthly usage, replacement of lost or stolen cards, and overdraft fees. According to FDIC, the largest users of prepaid cards include 25 million unbanked consumers and an additional 68 million who are underbanked, preferring these cards or other alternative financial services to traditional institutions. Story by Charlene Crowell for the Pittsburgh Courier.

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 14.47 percent, slightly lower than last week’s average of 14.48 percent. Six months ago, the average was 14.53 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.47 percent.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 27, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue