LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 3, 2017

November 3, 2017, Written By Lynn Oldshue

Here’s How Many Americans Say They Don’t Carry Cash
Paper money might be losing its appeal. In a survey of more than 2,000 Americans, U.S. Bank found that people aren’t carrying a lot of cash with them, and, when they do, they aren’t spending much. Overall, 50 percent of respondents said they carry cash with them less than half of the time they are out. When they do carry it, 76 percent say they keep less than $50 on hand and nearly half say they keep less than $20. About 46 percent say they use cash less than eight days each month and 5 percent say they never use it. Story by Shawn M. Carter for CNBC

Bank of America Exec Says Passwords ‘Need To Go Away.’ Here’s What’s Coming Next
For years, bank customers have relied on user IDs and passwords to access their online accounts. From a security standpoint, that’s no longer a smart practice, said Bank of America executive Michelle Moore, head of digital banking for the Charlotte-based bank. In an era of hacking, traditional IDs and passwords are prime targets, which is one reason Bank of America is exploring iris scanning and facial recognition as alternatives. Story by Deon Roberts for the Charlotte Observer

Why Mastercard Hasn’t Been ‘Disrupted’
Mastercard has had an incredible run this year. The company’s earnings report on Tuesday blew away Wall Street expectations, with revenue jumping 18%. Financial companies like big banks have been slowed by new regulations. And many tech companies that, like Mastercard, came of age decades ago have often been disrupted by newer tech companies. But Mastercard has mostly avoided new regulations since the financial crisis, aside from the impact of an amendment to cap fees on debit card transactions. And the company has raced to embrace new technology, making sure that it remains at the center of each transaction, whether that transaction is being conducted on a credit card, a phone, or entirely in the cloud. Apple Pay, for instance, was routed through Visa and Mastercard’s systems rather than bypassing them. And Mastercard is partnering with PayPal, blunting competition from PayPal. Mastercard has a co-branding partnership, for instance, on global PayPal debit and credit cards. Story by Avi Salzman for Barron’s.

Trump Signs Repeal of CFPB’s Arbitration Rule
President Trump signed legislation to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration rule. The repeal was already approved by the House in July and by the Senate two weeks ago. The rule was designed to prevent banks from using arbitration clauses in their credit card and account agreements. These clauses make it difficult, and in most cases impossible, for consumers to sue financial institutions for wrongful practices. Arbitration usually work in favor of the company, leaving consumers with less compensation than they may actually be owed. Despite the good intent behind the rule, financial institutions and business groups have been pushing against it from the start. They believe the rule will increase transaction fees, interest rates and other costs assigned to the consumer because banks must cover more in legal fees. Story by Bill Hardekopf for LowCards.com

AmEx Debuts a Sapphire Competitor in Retooled Hilton Cards
American Express just showed how far it’s willing to go to keep a co-brand partner happy. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is set for release in January, offering 14 points per dollar spent at the hotel chain’s properties. That’s on top of the 7 points per dollar on select flights, car rentals and U.S. restaurants and three points per dollar on other purchases. AmEx said the Aspire will offer more rewards than any other Hilton card, and will come with a $450 annual fee. Story by Jennifer Surane and Hannah Levitt for Bloomberg

Hilton to Pay $700,000 Over Credit Card Data Breaches
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc agreed to pay $700,000 and bolster security to resolve probes into two data breaches that exposed more than 363,000 credit card numbers, the attorneys general of New York and Vermont announced on Tuesday. The settlement resolves claims that the hotel chain lacked reasonable data security and was too slow to tell consumers about the intrusions, waiting 9-1/2 months after learning of the first and more than three months after learning of the second. Story by Jonathan Stempel for Reuters

Nearly Half of Millennials Get One Crucial Detail Wrong About Credit Cards
Some millennials still have a lot to learn about using plastic. A survey of 500 respondents found that 45 percent of millennials didn’t know their credit card interest rate. About half said they carry a balance from month to month. 36 percent said they had maxed out a credit card, 34 percent said they were not aware of how much the late fee would be if they missed a payment and 17 percent said they don’t know their current card limit. For the 29 percent of respondents who had missed a payment, 17 percent thought their credit score would remain unchanged afterwards and almost 6 percent believed a missed payment made their credit score go up. Story by Shawn M. Carter for CNBC

Visa Approves Monaco Cryptocurrency Card for Singapore Residents
Visa has approved a prepaid card backed by the cryptocurrency Monaco as the world’s largest payments network continues its foray into digital currencies. Monaco’s prepaid card has been approved for issuance to Singaporean residents. Visa approved the program through Monaco’s issuer, Wirecard AG. Cryptocurrencies are clamoring for deals with Visa because it would mean they could be converted into fiat money and accepted at the 44 million merchant locations in the payments network. Monaco gained as much as 695 percent in value beginning on May 17, when the firm tweeted it would offer a Visa-branded payment card. Monaco didn’t have a deal with Visa at the time. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

Citigroup to Gain $150M from Sale of Hilton Cards Portfolio
Citigroup announced that it expects to achieve a pretax gain of about $150 million from the divesture of Hilton Honors credit card portfolio to American Express. The deal is expected to be completed by first-quarter 2018. Citigroup’s partnership with Hilton Honors was scheduled to be terminated by the end of this year. The bank disclosed that the pretax gain amount approximates one year of revenues achieved from the portfolio. Story in Zack’s

Samsung Pay in Canada Gains New Partners, Option to Use Debit Cards
Although Samsung Pay was originally launched in the summer of 2015, it wasn’t made available for Canadian users until late 2016. However, even when the service did launch up north, the only supported partner was CIBC. Samsung Pay is getting its first big expansion in Canada, and it introduces a host of new partners and the ability to finally use debit cards. The new partners for Samsung Pay in Canada include Interac Debit, Scotiabank, American Express Canada, ATB Financial, Visa Canada, and Mastercard. Cards through these partners can be used on Samsung Pay now, and in addition to them, support for Tangerine and Peoples Card Services will also be rolling out soon. Story by Joe Maring for Android Central

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1,000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 15.42 percent, higher than last week’s average of 15.40 percent. Six months ago, the average was 15.26 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.60 percent.

About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue