LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 6, 2020

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–March 6, 2020

March 6, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Visa Joins Mastercard in Cutting Revenue Outlook on Virus Impact
Visa became the latest payments firm to face a hit from the spread of coronavirus. The company warned that cardholders’ spending overseas has slowed sharply, especially for travel-related purchases, and that this quarter’s revenue growth will be about 2.5 to 3.5 percentage points lower than the outlook it shared on Jan. 30. Visa said it won’t give a forecast for future quarters until its earnings call in April. Visa joins Mastercard and PayPal in warning investors about how the spread of coronavirus might impact their business. Mastercard said last month it’s knocking 2 to 3 percentage points off an earlier forecast, which translates to revenue growth of 9% to 10% on a currency-neutral basis, excluding acquisitions. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Divided Supreme Court Debates Constitutionality of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
A sharply divided Supreme Court on Tuesday debated the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and whether a president should be able to remove its head for any reason, including disloyalty or policy differences. At stake is the very existence of the independent watchdog agency, created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and whether it will remain insulated from politics with a leader not directly answerable to the White House and only removable for cause. Story by Devin Dwyer for ABC News

Wells Fargo Launches Two New Bank Accounts with Limited Overdraft Fees
Wells Fargo plans to launch two new bank accounts early next year. One of the new Wells Fargo accounts will be a checkless account with no overdraft option. Users can only spend the money that is in the account, resulting in no overdraft fees or insufficient fund fees. The account will come with a monthly fee of $5, but it will include access to online banking, mobile alerts (including low balance alerts), Zelle, in-person banking, and ATMs. Accountholders will not be able to write checks, but they can access their funds with a debit card. The second new account will support checks and will only charge one overdraft fee per month, when applicable. This account comes with a $10 monthly fee and offers access to the services mentioned above. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com

Credit Card Benefits are Changing: What’s Going On?
But starting in 2018, these key benefits and others began disappearing from the cards of some major issuers, even from some premium travel rewards cards that were known for their generous benefits. The first indication that the ground was shifting came from Discover, which dropped five major benefits from all its cards in February 2018. But the big shocker came in June 2019, when Citi announced the removal of nearly all cardholder benefits from most of their cards. There are some areas where credit card benefits are improving, such as cellphone insurance. At a time when many people carry a phone that costs $600 or more, there are several credit cards that come with a cellphone protection plan. Story by Jason Steele for The Points Guy

AmEx Staff Misled Small-Business Owners to Boost Card Sign-Ups
Questionable sales tactics cropped up in push to retain cardholders after Costco partnership ended. Some AmEx salespeople strong-armed business owners like Mr. Daughtry to increase card sign-ups, according to more than a dozen current and former AmEx sales, customer-service and compliance employees. The salespeople have misrepresented card rewards and fees, checked credit reports without consent and, in some cases, issued cards that weren’t sought, the current and former employees said. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis for The Wall Street Journal

Mobile Wallets to Power Majority of Online Purchases by 2023
More than half of all online sales will go through mobile wallets by 2023, while online installment payment plans are poised to boom, according to a new global payments report from FIS. The survey found that mobile wallets will be the payment method of choice for 52% of global ecommerce sales by 2023. It also said that “buy now, pay later” plans will be the fastest-growing online payment preference over the next five years. FIS also predicted global eCommerce will rise 53% to $5.9 trillion by 2023. Although American consumers still prefer to use their credit cards for online shopping, FIS said digital and mobile wallets were on track to surpass credit cards as the most-preferred online payment method in the United States by 2021. Story by Tina Orem for Credit Union Times

This Fintech Firm is Launching Crypto Debit Card for Users in 178 Countries
Crypterium, a crypto fintech firm led by Visa’s former General Manager for Central Europe, claims to have rolled out the most widely available prepaid crypto debit card, allowing users in 178 different countries to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin in-store and online. The card’s wide availability is on account of its being part of the UnionPay network. Story by Jonnie Emsley for Crypto Slate

Mortgage Rates Fall to All-Time Low Amid Coronavirus Concerns
Mortgage rates in the United States have fallen to the lowest level ever on the heels of concerns stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.29% during the week ending March 5, a major decrease of 16 basis points from the previous week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Previously, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit an all-time low back in November 2012 in the wake of the recession, when the average rate fell to 3.31%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell 16 basis points to 2.79%, according to Freddie Mac. Story by Jacob Passy for MarketWatch

Wells Fargo Gives Apple Pay Users $5 At ATMs
Wells Fargo customers who use the Apple Pay card at its ATMs will get a $5 bonus, reports indicated on Thursday. To get the money, which will be credited to people’s statements, customers have to use a Wells Fargo ATM with Apple Pay or another digital wallet using an iPhone or Apple Watch. Business debit cards are not eligible, and the offer is one time per customer. Story in PYMNTS

Mastercard Commits to Helping One Million Women Entrepreneurs
Mastercard has launched a new initiative Path to Priceless designed to reaffirm the company’s commitment to women entrepreneurs. Through the program, Mastercard has curated a calendar of physical and digital advisement and mentorship opportunities for women business owners. According to recent Mastercard research, 52% of Gen Z and 44% of Millennial women cited being able to help others as an important factor in determining their future or current career path. Female business owners will have access to conferences, panel discussions, networking opportunities and one-to-one mentorship. Story by Evie Rusman for Verdict

Here’s How the Fed’s Surprise Interest-Rate Cut Affects Mortgages, Credit Cards and Home Equity Lines
The Fed’s surprise rate cut this week will likely trim borrowing costs further on mortgages, home equity lines and credit cards. The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate Tuesday by half a percentage point, the first rate cut outside of a scheduled meeting since the global financial crisis in 2008. The latest reduction, to a range of 1% to 1.25%, was the fourth time the central bank has lowered borrowing costs since July. Credit card rates are typically tied to the prime rate, which is affected by the Fed’s benchmark rate. A half-point reduction, for instance, means that if a consumer’s current card APR is 18%, their rate will likely decrease to 17.5%. Story by Jessica Menton for USA Today

LowCards.com simplifies the confusion of shopping for credit cards. It is a free, independent website that helps consumers easily compare compare credit cards in a variety of categories such as lowest rates, rewards, rebates, balance transfers and lowest introductory rates. It also gives an unbiased ranking and review for each card. Created by Hampton & Associates, the company has been analyzing the credit card industry and supplying objective websites on various consumer expenses for 20 years. For more information, contact Bill Hardekopf at 205-985-9725 or billh@LowCards.com. Follow our tweets: @lowcards

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 6, 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.