LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–May 3, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–May 3, 2019

May 3, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Bad Credit Card Debt Is on the Rise
Red flags are flying in the credit card industry after a key gauge of bad debt jumped to the highest level in almost seven years. The charge-off rate, the percentage of loans companies have decided they’ll never collect, rose to 3.82 percent in the first three months of 2019, the highest since the second quarter of 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence. And loans 30 days past due, a harbinger of future write-offs, increased at all seven of the largest U.S. card issuers. Story by Jennifer Surane of Bloomberg

Mastercard and Visa Agree to Cut Overseas Card Fees
Mastercard and Visa have both agreed to cut their fees for tourists using their cards in the EU, after a long-running battle with the European Commission. The credit card firms will now charge retailers around 40% less on non-EU credit and debit cards payments. The European Commission said the deal would lead to “lower prices for European retailers to do business”. Ultimately, the commission said this should lead to lower prices for tourists to the European Union. Story in the BBC News

American Express Relaunches Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
With the refresh of the popular Blue Cash Preferred credit card, American Express is looking to get into millennials’ wallets. Starting May 9, American Express is adding two new categories to the card’s cashback rewards program. Card holders will receive 6% back on more than 20 U.S. streaming subscriptions. They include video-streaming services like Amazon Prime, YouTube and Netflix, HBO, and music-streaming services, including Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Kindle Unlimited and Audible. It also includes 3% back on transit purchases including parking, tolls, train fares and rideshares, including Lyft and Uber. Story by Jacob Passy for MarketWatch

Mastercard Rolls Out Small Business Programs, Partners With Intuit
Mastercard has announced the launch of new small business programs available across Mastercard Business and World Elite offerings. Small business owners will be able to access tools and solutions including Intuit QuickBooks Online, with cardholders receiving up to 50 percent off a 12-month subscription; Intuit TurboTax, with small businesses able to save up to $20 on TurboTax federal products; 24/7 Business Assistant, which provides key business services, such as locating tech support or a recruiting service, arranging client dinners, securing a meeting room or purchasing gifts; and Mastercard ID Theft Protection to monitor personal and business information. Story in PYMNTS

U.S. Banks’ Bad Debt Pile Creeps Higher With Credit Card Losses
For the biggest U.S. banks, not all consumer debt is created equal. Credit card losses are outpacing auto and home loans at a rate not seen in at least a decade. The question is whether banks’ plastic problem is an outlier or an omen. The four largest U.S. banks had almost $4 billion in charge-offs from credit cards last quarter, and just $656 million from all other consumer lending. That’s the biggest gap since at least 2009. Card charge-offs now make up more than 80 percent of total consumer credit costs, up from 67 percent three years ago. While the card losses are noteworthy, they’re not enough to drag down what’s been an otherwise a stellar run of profits at the top lenders. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

E-Retail Hacks More Lucrative Than Ever
For many years and until quite recently, credit card data stolen from online merchants has been worth far less in the cybercrime underground than cards pilfered from hacked brick-and-mortar stores. But new data suggests that over the past year, the economics of supply-and-demand have helped to double the average price fetched by card-not-present data, meaning cybercrooks now have far more incentive than ever to target e-commerce stores. Story by Brian Krebs for Krebs on Security

Why the Apple Card is the Gleaming Future of Money
What Apple is really doing is upending the user experience. Those cash back rewards? They show up the next day, in the Daily Cash app, makes spending money feel like a fun game. You reach customer service through Messages. You can see where a particular charge was made in Apple Maps. Spending summaries show up in beautiful, color-coded graphs, and you use an aesthetically pleasing wheel to decide how much of your balance you want to pay down. It’s all very soothing and makes the act of spending money feel fun, even productive. What does Apple get out of this? For one thing, it lets its ever-growing ecosystem of apps, services, and hardware take over even more parts of your life. Want to spend money beautifully and seamlessly? Story by Arielle Pardes for Wired

Why Credit Card Data Stealing Point-of-Sale Malware is Still Such a Big Problem
Old hardware, vulnerabilities in unsupported operating systems and malware files that are so small they’re virtually undetectable mean that point-of-sale (POS) malware is thriving as a key method for cyber criminals looking to steal credit card data and other personal information. Planet Hollywood and Buca di Beppo are just some of the latest brands to have uncovered POS malware on their systems – but only after the malware had been actively exfiltrating data for almost a year. Story by Danny Palmer for ZDNet

How Mobile Wallets Tap Into Consumer Security At The Pump And C-Stores
From fuel pumps to convenience stores (C-stores), many consumers worry about the security of their personal financial information. An ACI Worldwide and YouGov survey, for instance, found that more than six in 10 – or 62 percent – of U.S. adults are concerned about the security of their financial data when making payments at these venues. However, a far smaller share of consumers – 7 percent – prefer to pay with mobile wallets at fuel pumps and convenience stores. Of consumers who have used a mobile app, 83 percent are satisfied with the speed and convenience of the experience. Story in PYMNTS

Majority of Americans Approaching Retirement Don’t Have a 3-Month Emergency Fund
According to the 2019 Financial Literacy Survey from Equifax, nearly half of American adults say they do not have enough money in savings to cover three months of living expenses, a standard amount for emergency funding. What’s most alarming is the lack of savings among adults approaching retirement. Six out of ten respondents age 45 to 59 do not have a sufficient emergency fund. This figure has increased 35% since 2018. Story by Lynn Oldshue for LowCards.com

Credit Card Compromise Up 212% as Hackers Eye Financial Sector
More than one-quarter of all malware attacks target the financial services sector, which has seen dramatic spikes in credential theft, compromised credit cards, and malicious mobile apps as cybercriminals seek new ways to generate illicit profits. Banks and other financial services organizations were targeted in 25.7% of all malware attacks last year – more than any of the other 27 industries tracked. The first quarter of 2019 saw a 212% year-over-year spike in compromised credit cards, 129% surge in credential leaks, and 102% growth in malicious financial mobile apps. Story by Kelly Sheridan for Dark Reading

Capital One Adds JetBlue As Newest Transfer Partner
Last December Capital One introduced a transferrable points currency for their Venture and Spark products, which was an exciting development. The Venture and Spark cards were previously useful for earning rewards that could be redeemed as cash towards a travel purchase, though the miles can now be transferred to airlines as well. Capital One currently has 14 transfer partners, and they’ve now added their 15th partner. As of May 1, Capital One has added JetBlue TrueBlue as a transfer partner. Story by Ben Schlappig for One Mile at a Time

Additional Stories on LowCards.com (follow @LowCards on Twitter to receive these in real time):
Best Credit Cards for International Travel

Apple Wallet to Roll out Transit Ticket Support Starting This Spring

Capital One Adds JetBlue to Miles Transfer Program

Best Credit Cards for College Expenses

Mastercard Launches New Benefits for Small Business Cardholders

LowCards.com simplifies the confusion of shopping for credit cards. It is a free, independent website that helps consumers easily 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 18 years. For more information, contact Bill Hardekopf at 1-205-985-9725 or billh@LowCards.com. Follow our tweets: @lowcards


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
Featured Low Interest Card
Top Features : 1.25X miles on every purchase; no annual fee; bonus of 20,000 miles once $1,000 is spent in first 3 months
Featured No Annual Fee Card
Top Features : Earn cash back twice. 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : Reports to all three credit bureaus, perfect credit not required for approval
Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features : No annual fee; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Limited/No Credit
Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : No Annual Fee; Cash Back match at the end of your first year; Social Security Alerts