LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 2, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 2, 2018

November 2, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Credit Card Spending Limits in the Crosshairs as Issuers Grow Cautious
Two of the biggest credit card issuers are tightening lending standards, an unusual move in a strong economy that may signal longer-term concerns about consumers’ financial health. Capital One and Discover said last week they have become more cautious in how they’re handling credit limits. The two lenders said they don’t currently see signs of deterioration in consumers’ ability to pay their debts but do question how much longer the economic recovery will last. Capital One and Discover are gauges of many Americans’ ability to handle debt. Discover generally doesn’t market to affluent customers, and Capital One has a large number of customers with less-than-pristine credit scores, making both companies a window into a part of the economy that is often the first to show cracks. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis for The Wall Street Journal

New Set to Collect? Prepaid Visa Cards Feature NFL Players
You can use a prepaid card with one of more than 200 NFL player images on it as part of a new product that aims to have both consumer and collector appeal. CARD.com has partnered with the NFL Players Association to feature images of top NFL players on Visa prepaid cards. The set includes Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, J.J.Watt and dozens of other players as of now and CARD.com will be rolling out hundreds more as the season progresses, including standout rookies. While the cards are an NFLPA product, they don’t carry NFL team licenses so the cards have been created without club logos. Some are player caricatures. Story by Rich Mueller for Sports Collectors Daily

Americans May Put $135 Billion on Credit Cards to Pay for Holiday Travel
A recent holiday travel study by NerdWallet found many people are turning to plastic to finance their holiday travel plans. Almost half of Americans (49%) said they’ll charge flights and hotels this holiday. Travelers are putting a significant amount of purchases on their cards. Among those who say they plan to charge their trip, 75% will put roughly $135.8 billion on their cards in total (that’s $1,456 per person). On average, Americans took more than two months to pay off their 2017 holiday travel costs. If the same situation happens in 2018, American travelers will shell out a total of roughly $2.8 billion in interest alone in travel costs. About 5% of Americans said they’re still paying for their 2017 holiday travel costs. Story by Sheiresa Ngo for the Cheat Sheet

Surprise! Debit Cards Have Fees
In a recent survey by Lexington Law, over one-third of Americans (37%) were unaware that debit cards may charge fees. Debit card fees may include PIN charges (fees for using your PIN in a debit transaction), processing fees for using out-of-network ATMs, international fees for using your debit card outside the U.S., and overdraft fees for a debit transaction without sufficient funds in your account. The good news: banks must disclose these fees upfront in the terms and conditions of your debit card account. The bad news: most people don’t read the terms and conditions. Story by Money Tips

How The Gig Economy Is Igniting Spend Management Innovation
Prepaid cards have seen a bit of resurgence in the U.S. and globally, and the gig workforce deserves a lot of the credit. The prepaid card is a very useful tool for the ever-increasing number of gig workers who might incur costs – food and transportation, typically – in the course of doing their “gig.” These solutions eliminate the need for those workers to spend any of their own funds along the way, as well as track receipts and trigger manual reconciliation processes back at corporate. Story in PYMNTS

25% of ‘Affluent’ Millennials Hold Cryptocurrency
A full quarter of affluent American millennials are using or holding cryptocurrency. That’s among the findings in the Millennials with Money report from Edelman. The survey defines affluent millennials as aged 24-38, making $100,000 in individual or joint income, or having $50,000 in investable assets. An additional 31% are interested in using cryptocurrency. Story by Kristen Myers for Yahoo Finance

This Is Why Costco Only Accepts Visa Cards
Costco came up with an even more strategic way of saving money–a lot of money–by striking a deal with Visa. The warehouse club agreed to accept only Visa cards, and in exchange, the credit company lowered Costco’s merchant fee to a negligible less than 0.4 percent. By trimming its own costs, Costco can keep prices lower for its members. Why Visa? It had the best deal. Costco was partnered with Discover for a while, and then with American Express from 1999 to 2017. The AmEx partnership (which had slightly higher merchant fees) ended when the credit company thought the contract was getting too risky. From there, Visa was happy to step in. Other stores generally don’t form these partnerships with a single credit card company because consumers want options. But Costco shoppers tend to be very loyal, so they won’t stop coming just because they have to use a different card. Story by Marissa Laliberte for Reader’s Digest

What Percent of Small Businesses Carry Consistent Credit Card Debt?
24% of small businesses report carrying a credit balance month to month. Half of all small businesses report carrying credit debt occasionally. Only 33% of consumers carry occasional credit debt. One in four small businesses have a loan with a non-bank alternative lender. Story in Payments Journal

American Express Wants to Get Digital
When American Express reported its 2018 third-quarter earnings last month, investors had plenty of reason to cheer. The most encouraging sign for investors might be the immense progress American Express is making in its digital channels. One year ago, Amex’s mobile app offerings greatly lagged its rivals; it was the only major credit card without a partnership with PayPal; and it was largely seen as losing the race in fintech. Fast-forward to today, and American Express has largely addressed all of these concerns. Amex’s mobile app went from finishing sixth in J.D. Power’s credit card mobile app rankings in 2017, to first in 2018. And this year, American Express not only secured a partnership with PayPal, it also made two key acquisitions that should immensely bolster its mobile channels. Story by Matthew Cochrane for The Motley Fool

Wells Fargo Hit with Lawsuit over Robocalls to Wrong Numbers
A proposed class action lawsuit in San Francisco federal court accuses Wells Fargo of making tens of thousands of automatically dialed, or “robo,” calls to cell phones without consumers’ consent. Filed on Thursday on behalf of a nationwide class, the lawsuit accuses Wells Fargo of calling wrong numbers with auto-dialing equipment and failing to honor requests to stop. The complaint seeks triple damages under the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or up to $1,500 for each call. Story by Dena Aubin for Reuters

Bitcoin is 10 Years Old. Here’s a Look Back at its Crazy History
Halloween marks the 10th anniversary of the paper which led to the creation of bitcoin, the first ever cryptocurrency. On October 31 2008, bitcoin’s mysterious founder Satoshi Nakamoto published a nine-page long academic style paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Since its creation, bitcoin has seen wild price swings, major battles for control, and $500 million hacks, but is now well in the mainstream. Take a look back at the major events in the cryptocurrency’s crazy 10 years. Story by Will Martin for Business Insider



The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 2, 2018. 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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