LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 5, 2018

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Update–October 5, 2018

October 5, 2018         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Credit Card Giant Chase Jumps Into Tours and Activities
As tours and activities become more in demand around the world, some credit cards are looking to be more than just the payment method you use to book a tour. Card companies want to offer or lead the tours themselves. Card providers like American Express, Citi, MasterCard, and Visa have offered exclusive discounts to flights, hotels, and tourist attractions for years and VIP access to events like concerts. But many cards still largely leave cardholders on their own when it comes to customized and tailored tours during their trips. Now at least one company is starting to move more directly into in tours and activities. Chase has recently turned to travel publisher Atlas Obscura to create tours and experiences for its Chase Sapphire cardholders. Story by Dan Peltier for Skift

AmEx Has Relaunched its Gold Card with Lucrative New Rewards and Benefits
American Express has announced a refresh and rebranding of its Premier Rewards Gold Card. The new card, the American Express® Gold Card, offers a new, more lucrative rewards-earning program, netting 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at US restaurants and grocery stores, 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline, and 1x point on everything else. The card is also adding up to $120 each year in dining credits, alongside the Premier Rewards Gold’s existing $100 annual airline fee credit. The card’s annual fee is being increased from $195 per year to $250. Story by David Slotnick for Business Insider

How Apple’s Update May Turn the Payments Space on its Head
With Apple’s newly announced enhancements, any external device can now open an app automatically or trigger an Apple Pay payment by simply sending an NFC signal. The difference from last year is that the user doesn’t have to manually open an app anymore. Triggering an Apple Pay payment doesn’t require an expensive POS terminal anymore. Instead of using a POS terminal for in-store card-present NFC payments, the Internet of Things (IoT) device would trigger a mobile card-not-present payment, just like when using Apple Pay online. Consider the possibilities: any device can send a signal to start the payments process. In an IoT world, a consumer could go to a gas station and pay at the pump seamlessly, with the pump initiating the signal to start the payment via the consumer’s iPhone. Paying for parking could be as simple as holding up an iPhone to an NFC-enabled sign. Story by Ralf Gladis for Mobile Payments Today

Petal’s No-Free Credit Card for the Credit Score-Less is Now Open to the Public
Petal, the startup credit card company that’s offering a no-fee credit line to people without a credit history, is now publicly available. Petal uses information from a customer’s bank account and payments to develop a credit score for individuals who haven’t had time to build up a financial picture that most banks or credit card companies use to create risk profiles and issue credit. Launched earlier this year by co-founders Jason Gross, Andrew Endicott, David Ehrich, and Jack Arenas, Petal has received a $34 million credit facility from Jeffries and Silicon Valley Bank  to bring its consumer lending product to the masses. Story by Jonathan Shieber for Tech Crunch

Facebook Security Breach Exposes Accounts of 50 Million Users
Facebook, already facing scrutiny over how it handles the private information of its users, said that an attack on its computer network had exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users. The breach, which was discovered this week, was the largest in the company’s 14-year history. The attackers exploited a feature in Facebook’s code to gain access to user accounts and potentially take control of them. Story by Mike Isaac and Sheera Frenkel for The New York Times

Apple Wallet Will Support College Student ID Cards
Apple announced that it’s launching a pilot program with three universities to support student ID cards in Apple Wallet. Students can add their ID cards to Apple Wallet, allowing them to do things like access dorms or pay for cafeteria meals holding their iPhones or Apple Watches above card readers. Duke University and the Universities of Alabama and Oklahoma are the three participating schools. Story by Rachel Kraus for Mashable

Stock Brokerage Giant TD Ameritrade Bets on a New Cryptocurrency Exchange
Despite a massive slump in cryptocurrency prices, TD Ameritrade is doubling down on the sector. The U.S. brokerage firm announced a strategic investment Wednesday in an exchange called ErisX, which offers both bitcoin spot and futures trading. High-speed trading company Virtu Financial will also back the exchange. The entire market capitalization of cryptocurrencies has dropped by 50 percent this year alone. Still, the managing director of futures and foreign exchange for the company said customers are looking for ways to add the volatile cryptocurrency to their portfolios. Story by Kate Rooney for CNBC

Tesco Bank Hit With $21 Million Fine Over Debit Card Fraud
Scotland-based Tesco Bank has been hit with a $21.3 million fine by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority for failing to proactively deal with “foreseeable risks” that led to hackers executing a successful online attack campaign. The attacks, in November 2016, lasted for 48 hours and led to hackers stealing $2.93 million, says the Financial Conduct Authority, the U.K.’s financial regulatory body that operates independently of the U.K. government. Story by Mathew J. Schwartz for Bank Info Security

What Percent of Buyers Use Retail-Specific Prepaid Cards as Gifts?
39% of buyers give retail-specific gift cards as presents. But a lot, 28%, buy gift cards for the rewards. A similar number, 26%, buy prepaid gift cards as a way to get a discount. Consumers report plenty of other reasons to buy prepaid retailer-specific gift cards, apart from using them as gifts, they include: prepaid gift cards are a safer and more private way to buy online, reported by 19%. And 15% say they are a way to pay without carrying cash. Story in Payments Journal

PayPal Teams With Phoenix Suns On Mobile, Contextual Payments
PayPal and the NBA’s Phoenix Suns have inked a deal designed to bring the omnichannel experience to sports. Fans can use the PayPal digital app to place and pay for orders from their seats and buy merchandise and other items that they can pick up on their way out or have shipped home, thanks to the integrated POS experience at the terminals at the arena. PayPal Here card readers will also accept credit, debit, or tap to pay mobile payments, which means fans can pay however they choose, including using balances from their PayPal accounts. PayPal will get a co-branding spot on the Phoenix Suns patches. The pro basketball team’s season ticket holders can use PayPal Credit to finance their ticket purchase, paying the balance over time. Story in PYMNTS

Blockchain Could Be a $7 Billion Market and a Major Boost to Amazon, Microsoft
Blockchain adoption will eventually be a multi billion-dollar opportunity for tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft, according to new estimates from Bank of America. Based on the analysis, the entire total addressable market for blockchain will eventually hit $7 billion, though the analysts did not “attempt to put a time stamp” on it, as the technology is not yet widely adopted. The potential beneficiaries could marry blockchain with existing cloud computing operations and improve supply chain operations. Story by Kate Rooney for CNBC


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
Featured Low Interest Card
Top Features : 1.25X miles on every purchase; no annual fee; bonus of 20,000 miles once $1,000 is spent in first 3 months
Featured No Annual Fee Card
Top Features : Earn cash back twice. 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : No Annual Fee; Cash Back match at the end of your first year; Social Security Alerts
Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features : No annual fee; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Limited/No Credit
Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Cash Back Card
Top Features : No Annual Fee, Bonus Offer, Cash Back