LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 30, 2017

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 30, 2017

October 30, 2017         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Senate Kills Rule That Made It Easier To Sue Banks
Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote Tuesday night to repeal a rule that made it easier for Americans to sue their banks and credit card companies. Senators passed the measure by a vote of 51-50, handing Wall Street its first major win since President Donald Trump took office in January. Wiping out the rule would affect tens of millions of Americans who often don’t know they are covered by an arbitration clause when they sign up for a credit card, checking account or prepaid card. Many companies tuck arbitration clauses into contracts as a way to resolve disputes outside the court system, making it harder for an individual to bring a case against a bank or credit card company. Story by Donna Borak and Ted Barrett for CNN

Uber Rides Into Credit Card Market With No-Fee Credit Card
Uber already has a home on your phone. Now it wants a place in your purse or wallet. The ride-hailing giant this week unveiled a new no-fee, co-branded credit card with British bank Barclays that it hopes becomes a major part of consumers’ everyday spending habit. While it will use points, the Uber Visa Card is designed as a cash-back loyalty program. Paying for an Uber ride will get the cardholder 2 percent cash back. Other rewards include: 4 percent cash back for every dollar spent on dining including Uber’s UberEATS on-demand food delivery service; 3 percent cash back on airlines, hotels and vacation home rentals like Airbnb; 2 percent cash back on online purchases and subscriptions; and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. The Uber card will also give a small $50 annual credit toward online subscriptions, like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, if the customer spends $5,000 on the card in a year. Story by Ken Sweet for the Associated Press

Apple Pay Is Turning Out To Be A Quiet Revolution
Merchants say Apple Pay is responsible for 90 percent of all mobile contactless transactions where it’s available, and it’s starting to see significant availability numbers globally. Apple Pay is now available in 20 (mostly big and wealthy) countries, which together make up 70 percent of the world’s card transactions. 4,000 card issuers worldwide now support Apple Pay, meaning the service is now theoretically available for a non-trivial number of consumers who control the majority of the world’s electronic retail purchases. Equally impressive are the retailer numbers for the USA. It’s now available (meaning, standard contactless payment is available) at 50 percent of retail locations in the US, including 67 of the top 100 US retailers. In a number of cases, consumers don’t have contactless-capable cards, but can still use the contactless payment system thanks to Apple Pay. For three years of work, that’s remarkable. Story by Chris Mills for BGR

The Head Of The World’s Biggest Credit Card Issuer Says Digital Wallets Will Kill That Part Of The Bank’s Business
Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat says the end is coming for credit cards and the bank is now positioning itself for a slice of the action in digital wallets. Citi is also focusing on digital wallet and payments and trying to address the issue of “how do we make sure that we embed ourselves in whatever the wallet of the future is?” The bank is also developing partnerships with the likes of Alipay, Amazon and WeChat. The company is also positioning itself in China and says the biggest issue for the country is managing its debt levels and tougher capital controls meant companies working in China need Citigroup even more. Story by Simon Thomsen for Business Insider Australia

PayPal Launches Facebook Messenger P2P Payment Service
PayPal users now have the option to send money to friends and family using Facebook Messenger. This is an expansion to the payment service PayPal launched last year, where consumers could pay merchants directly through Messenger. Facebook already has a P2P payment system in Messenger where users can send money from their debit cards. Instead of entering card data, users now have the option to select PayPal as the provider for the transaction. Payments can be made using the person’s PayPal balance or a bank or credit card account stored in PayPal. Story by John Oldshue for LowCards.com

Illinois Moving To Kill Credit Freeze Fees
Illinois lawmakers are working to end the $10 fee for freezing consumer credit data. It comes months after Equifax, Inc. exposed the sensitive personal information of tens of millions of Americans. The cost to freeze credit is $10. Add another $10 to unfreeze it, like if you want to apply for a car loan. And then another $10 to freeze it again, and so on and so on—and that has to be multiplied by three separate companies. That would no longer be allowed. Story by Brian Mackay for NPR Illinois

Tech Companies Are Coming Up With Outlandish Ways To Get You To Try Mobile Payments
Paying with your phone at a retailer is faster than pulling out and swiping a credit card, yet despite an aggressive rollout by companies such as Apple, Samsung and Google, it’s never taken off with just 10% of consumers paying with mobile. The reason? Not enough incentive for consumers to make the switch and set up their phones to pay. That hasn’t stopped hundreds of companies from trying to tweak the technology that will get consumers to ditch plastic when they’re shopping at the grocery store, mall or gas station. When consumers use mobile payments, they can be pitched deals while they shop in the store, thanks to the location data a smartphone (as opposed to a credit card) provides. That’s why, in part, giants like McDonald’s, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Chevron Gas stations, Walgreens and Panera Bread offer contactless payment systems at their stores. Story by Jefferson Graham for USA Today

Average Credit Card Rates In UK Now 50% Higher Than Before The Financial Crisis
While overall lending costs have plunged to record lows in the years following the financial crisis, the average credit card interest rate has steadily risen. According to Moneyfacts, the research group, the average credit card interest rate today is 23%, compared to just 15.3% in 2006. Today’s average is a record high. One explanation for the higher average rate, the firm suggested, was that more introductory 0% interest deals were being offered. These serve the purpose of attracting new customers but later revert to a very high rate further down the line. Story by Sam Meadows for The Telegraph

For American Express, Competition Will Only Intensify
He is leaving with the share price rising and the announcement of earnings that were largely well received. Better still, Kenneth Chenault, American Express’s chief executive for 16 years, accomplished a feat rare in the upper reaches of American finance: to stand down without an obvious helping shove. No grandstanding senators hounded him out (see Wells Fargo). No boardroom coup hastened the end (Citigroup). The financial crisis left him untouched (take your pick). His successor, Stephen Squeri, promoted from within and apparently groomed for the job, takes over in February. For all that, Mr Chenault’s long tenure has not been an unequivocal triumph. Though generating strong returns on assets and equity, American Express has continued its slide within the fast-changing and competitive payments industry. According to Nilson, an industry bible, in 1974 the amount of money for purchases channeled through American Express was equivalent to 50% of what went through MasterCard and 70% of what went through Visa. By 2016, those ratios had shrunk to 30% and 14%. Story in The Economist

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 15.40 percent, identical to last week. 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
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