LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 29, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 29, 2019

March 29, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Here’s Everything Apple Isn’t Telling You About Its New Credit Card
Apple officially unveiled the credit card during a Monday press event alongside other new services. The card is being offered in partnership with Goldman Sachs, marking the bank’s first credit card offering, and card network Mastercard. The card still seems poised to attract the attention of Apple devotees—those people who have the latest Macbook, iPhone and Apple Watch and are members of the device upgrade program. But once you get past the splashy features, there’s a lot Apple isn’t telling consumers about its new credit card. Here’s what you should watch out for. Story by Jacob Passy for MarketWatch

Half Of Parents Who Entrusted Their Kids With This Money Move Now Regret It
Nearly one in five (18%) parents of children ages 8-14 says that their child has a credit card, according to data released in 2017 from T. Rowe Price. Other parents lend their kids the card: More than half of Americans with kids under 18 have let their kids borrow their credit or debit card to buy something online, according to research released in 2018 by CompareCards.com. Nearly half (48%) of them regret doing it. Story by Catey Hill for MarketWatch

The 10 Cities Where American Families Have The Most Credit Card Debt
In 2018, total credit card debt in the U.S. reached a high of more than $1 trillion, according to data from the Federal Reserve. As of 2019, individual households hold an average amount of nearly $9,000 each in credit card debt,, WalletHub reports, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, TransUnion and the Federal Reserve. Residents in certain places, though, are far deeper in the red than others. To determine where families owe the most, CNBC Make It used WalletHub’s data to rank the top 10 cities where households have the highest average amounts of credit card debt. Here’s how they stack up. Story by Shawn M. Carter for CNBC

Lyft Wants To Give Free Bank Accounts And Debit Cards To Drivers
In the battle to retain more drivers, Lyft has announced a new effort to help its freelance workers better manage their finances. The ride-hail (and soon-to-be publicly traded) company unveiled a broad set of new economic incentives for drivers, including no-fee bank accounts, debit cards, vehicle maintenance, and deals on rental cars. Lyft will also be opening a series of brick-and-mortar repair centers across the country where drivers can get discounts on maintenance and car washes. It’s a way for Lyft to help drivers save money without actually increasing fares (which could drive down demand) or decreasing the percentage of each payment Lyft takes for itself (which would reduce its revenue). Story by Andrew J. Hawkins for The Verge

Citigroup Makes Its Move in $90 Billion Battle Over Swipe Fees
Citigroup is jumping into the battle over the $90 billion in swipe fees that merchants pay each year to process debit and credit cards. The bank is developing a new digital consumer-payments business that will allow large merchants to collect from cards, mobile wallets and bank-account transfers. Citigroup will work with Mastercard’s payment-gateway services to connect with payment processors and mobile wallets around the world. Citigroup’s new product could address the growing concern among U.S. merchants that have been looking for a way to lower the amount they spend on electronic payments, especially through solutions that connect directly to a consumer’s bank account, avoiding traditional credit and debit card networks. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Debit Card Issuers’ Authorization Costs Fell 54% in Eight Years
Debit card issuers subject to the Durbin Amendment’s interchange price controls saw their average authorization, clearing, and settlement expense, excluding fraud, fall to 3.6 cents per transaction in 2017, down 54% since 2009, the Fed reported Thursday. The Durbin Amendment to 2010’s Dodd-Frank Act requires the Fed to issue a report every two years about debit card issuers’ various costs. This latest report is for the year 2017; the Fed’s first such report was for 2009. Story Jim Daly for Digital Transactions

Mastercard Sees Other Banks Ditching Credit Card Numbers Like Apple Did
First it was the signatures. Now the biggest U.S. banks could be looking to get rid of card numbers, too. This week, Apple introduced the Mastercard-branded Apple Card, which won’t have a number on the physical card as a way to improve security in case a customer loses it. That could encourage other banks to also ditch the static number in favor of more secure limited-use numbers. Mastercard and other U.S. payments networks have opted to ditch signatures because they became less necessary as a security measure after the U.S. implemented chip technology in cards. Some large U.S. banks have already begun to test virtual card numbers that are assigned to specific merchants. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Venmo To Users: If You Owe Us Money, We’re Coming For It
Venmo, the digital money-transfer service operated by PayPal, is ratcheting up pressure on users the company says owe it money for transactions that went awry. In a bid to curb losses on its platform, Venmo is threatening to sic debt collectors on some users who carry negative balances in their accounts, according to customer-service emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Venmo also recently amended its user agreement to give itself the power to recover money its customers owe by seizing it from their other accounts at PayPal. Story by Peter Rudegeair for The Wall Street Journal

Wearable Device Sales To Jump 15%, Mobile Payments Partially Fueling Growth
The global market for wearable devices including smart assistants and wireless headphones is expected to spike by 15.3% this year, according to new data from International Data Corporation (IDC), and mobile payments may be fueling some of that growth. IDC said it expected the wearable device market to include 198.5 million units by the end of 2019 and 279 million units by the end of 2023. Watches, ear-worn devices and wristbands will power much of the market’s anticipated 8.9% compound annual growth. Connected clothing is also making headway. Many wearables, especially watches, have digital payment capabilities. Story by Tina Orem for Credit Union Times

Chase Targeted Offer Gives You $25 For Using Google Pay In April
Chase is currently sending out targeted email offers to people who have at least one Chase Freedom credit card. The offer gives users the ability to earn an easy $25 just by using Google Pay three times throughout April 2019. Naturally, you’ll have to attach your Chase Freedom card to Google Pay in order to earn the $25 reward. It appears that the offer is targeting Chase Freedom credit card owners who haven’t linked that card to Google Pay yet. In order to earn the $25, you’ll need to follow a specific list of steps to add your Freedom card to Google Pay, so those of you with a Freedom card already in Google Pay might be out of luck. Story by C. Scott Brown for Android Authority

U.S. Regulators Need Authority To Ensure Credit Agencies Keep Data Secure
U.S. lawmakers should empower the Federal Trade Commission to impose civil penalties on consumer credit reporting agencies that fail to secure customers’ records, congressional auditors recommended in a report released on Tuesday. The Government Accountability Office also urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to improve its oversight and supervision of such credit reporting agencies. Concerns over the security of consumer data, particularly with credit reporting companies, have loomed large since Equifax Inc’s massive data breach in 2017 that exposed the personal information of more than 143 million Americans in one of the largest hacks ever. If the FTC had the power to fine such companies for violating data security provisions, that would boost consumer data security, given customers have few avenues to protect such sensitive information even after major data breaches. Story by Susan Heavey for Reuters



The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 29, 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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