LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 22, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 22, 2019

November 22, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

AmEx Is Paying Up to Get Businesses to Accept Its Cards
American Express wants more businesses to accept its cards. So it is paying them, sometimes in amounts approaching a half-million dollars. The company is offering sign-on bonuses to some businesses that don’t take its cards in a bid to catch up to rivals Visa and Mastercard. The payments range from under $10,000 to about $450,000. Story by AnnaMaria Andriotis for The Wall Street Journal

Credit Card Debt Stressing You Out? You Aren’t Alone
According to a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult, close to half of American adults have credit card debt. Unfortunately, owing money on a credit card comes with more than just financial cost: It can also be very stressful. The poll found that 60% of adults feel either some stress or a lot of stress about credit card debt, with 30% indicating that they worry a lot about what they owe. There’s good reason to be worried about being indebted to a creditor. But stressing about money can also take a toll on your happiness. Story by Christy Bieber for The Motley Fool

40% of Credit Card Debtors Have Higher Balances Than Over Past Decade
As growth slows on the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, nearly a third (31 percent) of credit cardholders hold higher card balances than they’ve had on average since 2009 amidst the Great Recession, according to the latest survey from Bankrate. Compared to January 2019, the majority of cardholders say their ability to pay credit card bills on time is now about the same (55 percent), while 34 percent say it’s better and just 11 percent say worse. Similarly, the majority of cardholders feel about the same (44 percent) or less stressed (33 percent) about their credit card debt, while only 23 are more stressed. Sixty-two percent of people say they are maximizing rewards about the same as they have since January, while 20 percent are maximizing them more and 18 percent less. Story by Kendall Little for Bankrate

Millions Sign Up for Mobile Payments-But How Many Stick Around Long Term?
Observers of mobile wallets have focused attention on user counts as a sign of adoption, but that leaves open the question of how many of these consumers are turning into habitual users. As it turns out, mobile-payments apps have a much harder time retaining users than do banking apps, according to research released Wednesday. Globally, just 16% of users on average return to a payment app the day after install, and 30 days later that number has dipped to just under 6%. Story by John Stewart for Digital Transactions

Macy’s Said Hackers Stole Customers Credit Cards–Again
For the second time in as many years, Macy’s customers have been hit by a data breach involving countless numbers of credit cards. In a filing with the California attorney general, the retail giant said hackers siphoned off customers’ names, addresses, and phone numbers, but also credit card numbers, card verification codes, and expiration dates by inserting malicious code on its website and quietly sending the stolen data back to the hackers. Macy’s said the breach lasted a week, between October 7 and October 15. The retail giant did not say how many customers were affected. Story by Zack Whittaker for Tech Crunch

19% of Americans Don’t Know This Crucial Credit Card Detail
In an ideal world, the interest rate attached to your credit cards wouldn’t matter because you’d pay your bills in full every month. In reality, however, many Americans routinely rack up credit card debt by carrying a balance. Anytime you fail to pay a credit card bill in full, you pay some amount in interest. That interest is determined by the rate your card charges. But a surprising number of Americans are clueless as to what that rate is. According to Northwestern Mutual’s 2019 Planning & Progress Study, 19% of U.S. consumers don’t know what their credit card interest rate is. If you’re one of them, consider this your wake-up call to dig into that crucial piece of information. Story by Maurie Backman for USA Today

How to Use Cash Back Portals to Make Money While You Shop
Cash back rebates are another way to save when you shop online. That’s right, thousands of online stores, from Amazon to Zale’s, will pay you to buy from them. To claim your cash, you need to become a member of a cash back portal site, such as BeFrugal, CouponCabin, Mr. Rebates, Rakuten or RetailMeNot, and make that purchase using the portal. You can join for free and in most cases, you’ll get a sign-up bonus, typically $5-$10, for doing that. A cashback portal gets paid a commission from an affiliated retailer every time a member clicks through an offer on its site and makes a purchase. The portal splits its commission–paid on the final price, excluding shipping, taxes, gift-wrapping or any other fees–with the member. Story by Herb Weisbaum for NBC News

USAA Won $200M from Wells Fargo in Patent Fight. Will Others Be on the Hook?
A recent court decision in which Wells Fargo was ordered to pay $200 million to USAA for infringement of its patents on mobile deposit capture technology may have significant ripple effects across the industry. The technology at issue was developed by Mitek and is used by 6,500 other institutions. If the verdict stands, it may mean many other institutions will have to negotiate with USAA to pay additional licensing fees for their mobile deposit tech. Mitek, meanwhile, has launched its own legal broadside against USAA, seeking a declaratory judgment that its automatic-check image capture product does not infringe on certain patents owned by USAA. Story by Penny Crosman for American Banker

Mastercard Launches Urban Development Insights Tool for Cities
Mastercard is now offering a data-analytics tool it developed in the cities of Dublin, Chicago, London and Helsinki to its full network of more than 40 member cities, the company announced this week. The expansion of the tool, called City Insights, was unveiled Tuesday at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Initially piloted in a handful of cities, including in Dublin where it was used to assess how events and extreme weather could affect the local retail industry, Mastercard’s tool is advertised as a way for cities to gain timely insights into how their cities function. Story by Jake Williams for State Scoop

Your Capital One Card Could Snag a Hot OpenTable Spot
If you prefer to reserve a table at a restaurant without making a phone call, you likely know OpenTable, which lets you book seats online. Now your credit card could provide better access to restaurants through the real-time reservation network. Capital One has partnered with OpenTable to open the door for cardholders to dining hot spots nationwide through the Premium Access program. The program allocates some hard-to-get tables for cardholders. All Capital One cardholders can use this benefit, but only through the OpenTable app. Story by Rebecca Lake for U.S. News

Earn 500 Bonus Points with Your Contactless Chase Visa Card
Chase has come out with a new promotion for its cardholders, offering 500 points to customers who use its relatively new tap to pay feature. Contactless cards allow customers to simply pull out their credit card and hold it up to a compatible terminal, which then reads and processes the card via an embedded chip. This eliminates the need to either swipe or insert your card in order to complete your transaction. Thus far, it appears that the promotion is valid for a few different Chase Visa cards, though be sure to check your email to see if any of your cards are eligible. You earn 500 points when you use your contactless Chase Visa for three transactions totaling $1.75 or more. The offer is valid from Nov. 20 to Dec. 31, 2019. Story by Carissa Rawson for The Points Guy

Increase Your Credit Score With This 1 Trick
This one personal finance trick can help increase your credit score. A new study from TransUnion explored how debt consolidation loans impact consumer credit performance, overall debt load and credit health. TransUnion says that consolidating credit card debt with a personal loan can help increase your credit score by more than 20 points. The 20+ point credit score increase was consistent across the credit spectrum. On average, consumers who consolidate credit card debt pay off more than 58% of their credit card debt with a new personal loan. Story by Zack Friedman for Forbes

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 19 years. For more information, contact Bill Hardekopf at 1-205-985-9725 or billh@LowCards.com. Follow our tweets: @lowcards

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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.
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