LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 8, 2019

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Banks Tightened Standards on Credit Cards in Third Quarter, Fed Survey Finds
Banks are tightening their standards on credit card loans in the third quarter, out of concern with the more uncertain economic outlook, according to the latest Federal Reserve survey of senior loan officers. Banks have increased underwriting standards for approving credit card applications for the past three quarters. In the January-March quarter, credit card standards tightened the most since 2009, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service. Story by Greg Robb for MarketWatch

Sapphire Got People Talking About High End Credit Cards, Now AmEx Is Reaping the Benefits
American Express says it absorbed a blow from JPMorgan’s premium card, and is better for it. While AmEx initially lost customers after JPMorgan Chase introduced the popular Sapphire Reserve card in 2016, the firm said it has seen a 60% increase in growth in Platinum accounts after it added new benefits and perks the following year. More than half of new Platinum card customers are under the age of 35. With Sapphire, JPMorgan was taking aim at AmEx’s Platinum accounts and the lucrative market for high-rewards cards. AmEx has responded by spending more on marketing and refreshing many of its most popular cards. Story by Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg

What’s the Most Popular Type of Credit Card? Hint: It’s Not Travel Cards
A recent Experian report listed the most-viewed types of credit cards using its CreditMatch tool, giving us a glimpse of what cards consumers search for the most. Here are the four most popular types of credit cards: No-annual-fee cards took the No. 1 spot, receiving 27.8% of total views. With 27% of total views, secured credit cards are a surprising second on this list. The ever-popular rewards credit cards received 22.1% of views. Cash back cards ended up with 18.7% of total views. Story in The Motley Fool

Credit Cards Have Gone Out of Style in China. Will the U.S. be Far Behind?
Imagine opening Instagram not to post a photo or comment on someone’s story, but instead to pay for your groceries. That’s what more than 1 billion people in China do. Except instead of using Instagram, Twitter or other popular social media outlets in the U.S., they open up WeChatPay and Alipay to scan QR codes to pay for goods in place of a traditional checkout. WeChatPay, akin to Facebook Messenger, was developed by Tencent, the Chinese equivalent of Facebook. AliPay was developed by Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon. Together these two platforms account for $41 trillion in transactions annually. Story by Elisabeth Buchwald for MarketWatch

Kids’ Credit Card Usage Way Up: New Survey Shows Increased Use Among Younger Children
The 2019 Parents, Kids, and Money Survey from T. Rowe Price shows that credit card use has skyrocketed among 8-to-14-year-olds over the past seven years; from 4% in 2012 to 17% today. That’s almost as high as the percentage of kids with checking accounts (19%). Only 41% of kids with credit cards pay their bill. Parents pay 59% of the time – although this statistic could be misleading. Kids in the 8-year-old to 14-year-old age range are probably paying off their debts with allowance money or earnings from chores. Parents are responsible for charges in any case since children that young can’t open credit cards under their own name. Story in CBN News

4 Big Changes Coming to Your American Express Card in 2020
American Express is now notifying customers that some credit card benefits will be going away or dialed back effective January 1, 2020. The Roadside Assistance Hotline will be going away which was a 24-hour dispatch hotline to assist you in the event you needed a tow if your vehicle broke down or a locksmith if you were locked out of your vehicle. Travel Accident Insurance coverage is no longer available. Purchase Protection is being reduced in length. After January 1, 2020, any purchases you make will only receive 90 days of protection, down from 120 days for most customers previously. Changes are also coming to extended warranty coverage for purchases. Story by Theo Thimou for Clark.com

Citigroup Plans on Unveiling a Digital Savings Account for American Airlines Cardholders
Citigroup is making another push for digital deposits. The bank is planning on offering users of its American Airlines co-branded credit card a high-interest online savings account early next year. To entice people to join, Citigroup will offer up to 50,000 in miles as a signup bonus and a 25% boost on miles earned through the card (capped at the first $50,000 spent.) Citigroup, the third biggest U.S. lender by assets, is leaning on its popular credit cards to help it raise deposits on the banking side. Story by Hugh Son for CNBC

Goldman Hands Out $10 Billion in Credit Lines for Apple Card
Goldman Sachs leaders have been coy about backing up their recent assertion that the Apple card is the industry’s most successful credit card launch ever. Regulatory filings this week offer a first glimpse into the numbers that had the bank gushing. After a full roll-out of the card last quarter, credit lines the bank has extended to Apple customers totaled about $10 billion as of Sept. 30. The credit card is part of Goldman’s recent foray to turn its attention to Main Street consumers after more than a century of catering to large corporations and big investors. Its partner in the venture, Apple, has tried to minimize the investment bank’s role as it markets the product with a tagline that reads: “A new kind of credit card. Created by Apple, not a bank.” Story by Sridhar Natarajan and Shahien Nasiripour for Bloomberg

PayPal’s Move on Physical Stores
While it has struggled in the past to convert its success online into a presence in physical retail stores, PayPal is planning another go at it. CEO Dan Schulman said that the company will make new efforts starting next year under both the PayPal and Venmo brands. Schulman said that Paypal didn’t have much to offer as a simple alternative to a credit card, but it can offer more in a world where people want to use reward points, split payments or even bypass the checkout line entirely. Schulman mentioned that QR codes could play a role, especially with small and micro businesses, while PayPal can also tap into the NFC transactions already accepted for things like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Story by Ina Fried for Axios

If You Have an Amex Card, You Could be Eligible for up to $50 on Amazon Using Just One Membership Rewards Point
If you have an Amex card, you could be eligible for up to $50 off an Amazon purchase when you use at least one Amex point toward your order. This offer isn’t available to everyone. You need to have a card that earns Amex Membership Rewards points, such as the Platinum Card from American Express or the American Express Gold Card. If you’re eligible for this discount, make sure to use it by December 2. Story by Summer Hull for Business Insider

How Mastercard Aims to Help Banks Win Back Customers’ Trust
Mastercard has injected itself into the long-running banking debate on data sharing standards, recently releasing its own set of proposed principles intended to help guide data ownership and protection. But while other efforts have focused on determining data ownership, or spelling out which party should be liable in a data breach, the card network says it is trying to reestablish the connection between customers and bankers that has been lost in the shift to mobile and digital-first banking. Story by Will Hernandez for American Banker

Use of Mobile Wallets by US Consumers Rebounds
A Mercator Advisory Group report has revealed that the use of mobile wallets by US consumers has rebounded to 2016 levels or higher after a two-year decline. The use of any mobile payment has increased from 48% in 2018 to 60% in 2019. In comparison, in 2016, 53% reported using a mobile wallet. Online service providers with built-in payments like Uber and Airbnb have also seen impressive growth from 2018 (36% vs 28%). Mobile is increasingly becoming a major part of consumer shopping in the US. Six in 10 report either browsing or shopping via mobile device in 2019. Mobile shopping is much more common among younger adults than others. Story in The Paypers

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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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