LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–May 1, 2020

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

It’s Suddenly a Lot Harder to Find a New Credit Card. Here’s How You Can Still Get Approved
“We see lots of anecdotal indications of the credit card companies cutting back on new card offerings and tightening up on their existing accounts,” says banking consultant Bert Ely. Banks are preoccupied with figuring out how to implement the raft of new lending programs the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve have rolled out within the past couple of weeks. Lenders also are worried about people and businesses alike defaulting on payments as the economy craters, so they’re battening down the hatches. If you still want to try for a new card, here are a few tips. Story by Martha C. White for Money

Contactless Payments Jump 40% as Shoppers Fear Germs on Cash and Credit Cards
Mastercard saw a 40% jump in contactless payments, including tap-to-pay and mobile pay, during the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic worsened. CEO Ajay Banga says the shift was being driven by consumers “looking for a quick way to get in and out of stores without exchanging cash, touching terminals or anything else. We are seeing an increase in the use of contactless transactions, and we think this trend will continue after the pandemic.” Story by Kate Rooney for CNBC

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Having Trouble Getting a Vacation Refund? Try a Credit Card Chargeback. Here’s How
If you’re caught in the catastrophe of travel services promised but never delivered, you have a lot of company amid the coronavirus’ wrecked vacations. But unlike those folks, you have a powerful tool that may help ease the sting. It’s your credit card. You did charge that hotel stay or vacation package on a credit card, didn’t you? Good. Because a credit card affords protections just for such difficulties, even if this is the granddaddy of them all, under the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974. Story by Catharine Hamm for the Los Angeles Times

Millions of Low-Income Americans are Facing Delays in Their Stimulus Checks Because They Used Tax Prep Services
Millions of Americans already received their stimulus check from the US government, but many more who filed their taxes with third party tax prep services, such as H&R Block and TurboTax, are still waiting to be paid. Since many customers can’t afford the several hundred dollar tax prep fee upfront, these tax preparers take their payment out of the customer’s federal tax return, which is deposited into a third-party bank. Because of this, the IRS doesn’t have direct deposit information for the customers themselves, so there’s been confusion on where to send the stimulus payments. Story by Paul Kiel, Justin Elliott, and Will Young for Business Insider

How COVID-19 Is Changing the Way Consumers Pay for Purchases 
Shelter-at-home protocols have caused many Americans to rethink the way they pay for purchases. Whether you’ve actively been in quarantine or you’re out every day as an essential worker, chances are you’ve made some adjustments to your payment strategies. Let’s take a look at how COVID-19 is changing the payment industry and how likely these changes are to last in the aftermath. Story by Heaven Speirs for LowCards.com

Mastercard’s Plan to Connect 1 Billion More People and 50 Million Small Businesses to Digital Economy by 2025
Small businesses and individuals having a hard time entering the digital economy are getting a boost from Mastercard as the need to receive funds electronically and make digital and contactless payments has been underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment processing company is pledging to connect 1 billion people and 50 million small businesses to the digital economy by 2025. Nationally, 6.5% of households in 2017 did not have bank accounts, and 18.7% had accounts but also used financial services outside of insured institutions. Story by Coral Murphy for USA Today

Visa Will Make Introductory Trial Terms More Transparent
Visa is making it easier to cancel free or discounted trials before your debit or credit card gets hit with a recurring charge, useful if you frequently forget to set your own reminders about expiring promotions. The payment network’s new policy, which starts April 18, 2020, applies to offers on both physical and digital goods and services. Under Visa’s new policy, companies offering free trials that turn into recurring subscriptions will be required to follow new rules in their communications with cardholders. Story by Melissa Lambarena for NerdWallet

WhatsApp Eyes Lending Feature In India
WhatsApp, which began testing its mobile payments feature in India two years ago, could offer at least one more financial service to people in its biggest market. In a filing with the local regulator in India, the Facebook-owned messaging platform has listed credit as one of the areas it will pursue in the country. The Facebook-owned service declared with the local regulator earlier this month providing credit or loans as one of the “main objects to be pursued by it in the country.” Story by Manish Singh for Tech Crunch

Why Haven’t I Gotten My Stimulus Check? 6 Reasons Your Payment Might be a No-Show
The IRS had distributed 88.1 million stimulus checks as of April 17 and paid out $157.96 billion. That’s more than half of the $290 billion put aside for direct payments to individuals in the $2.2 trillion bill called the CARES Act. The IRS started mailing paper checks bearing President Donald Trump’s autograph in what might otherwise be the memo line during the week of April 20. The IRS is slated to put approximately 5 million checks in the mail each week for up to 20 weeks. The agency started mailing checks to the people who have the smallest incomes first, the timeline indicated. Here are some reasons that you still may not have gotten a stimulus check, and, in some cases, what you can do to speed the process. Story by Andrew Keshner for MarketWatch

Treasury Dept. Strikes Deal to Send Out Prepaid Cards Loaded With Stimulus Money
In an effort to speed up the process of delivering federal stimulus checks to Americans, the Treasury Department has struck a deal with banking companies to send out prepaid cards to citizens who have not registered their direct deposit information. The department reached the agreement with Visa Inc., Metabank, and Fiserv Inc. to ramp up production of a product called U.S. Debit Card as an alternative option for those who have not submitted their bank account information in the Internal Revenue Service system. Story by Emma Tucker for Daily Beast

The Surprising Reasons Why 2020 is the Year of Cobranded Travel Credit Cards
Why would you want to ramp up spending on cobranded travel credit cards when you aren’t traveling and when virtually all of the major hotel loyalty programs have already extended elite status tiers by an extra year? The loyalty programs and banks have realized that cardholders may need extra encouragement in the coming months to swipe those hotel and airline credit cards. This is the year that you can earn progress toward elite status from your at-home credit card spending at rates never before seen. You can even make progress toward lifetime elite status in at least one program that had previously eliminated that earning feature. Story by Summer Hull for The Points Guy

How to Report Your Rent Payments to Credit Bureaus
While lenders and creditors report mortgage, auto and credit card payments to credit bureaus each month, your rent payments generally don’t get reported to bureaus. If you are consistent in paying your rent on time each month though, your credit score could get a boost from reporting rent payments. Here are some ways that you can ensure your rent payments are reported and count towards your credit score. Story by Raychelle Heath for Bankrate

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 May 1, 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.

Review LowCards.com Editor’s Top Cards!

2020 Top Credit Cards by Category
Featured Prepaid Card
NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card
EDITOR RATING
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NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card. 

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Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
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Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Intro APR Offer on Purchases, No Annual Fee For First Year

Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
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Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: All credit types welcome to apply!

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First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
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First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Reports to all three credit bureaus, perfect credit not required for approval


bill-hardekopf

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.