LowCards Weekly Credit Card Update March 23

LowCards Weekly Credit Card Update March 23

March 23, 2012         Written By Lynn Oldshue

PayPal Launches Credit Card Reader to Accept Mobile Payments
PayPal, the payments service owned by eBay Inc, unveiled a new device on Thursday that helps small businesses accept credit and debit cards through mobile devices, entering a fast-growing market now led by start-up Square Inc. “PayPal Here”, as the service is called, will provide a free, triangle-shaped card reader that plugs into the top of mobile devices, allowing merchants to take payments through these gadgets on the go. PayPal charges a fee of 2.7 percent of the purchase price for all types of credit and debit cards, including those issued by American Express. That compares with the 2.75 percent charged by Square. Story by Reuters.

CardSpring Links Coupons and Customers’ Credit Cards
A new application from payment platform CardSpring lets users sync their payment card with participating merchants, automatically delivering online coupons and deals offered by the merchant directly to the synched card. RetailMeNot users had the option of linking the food truck coupons to their credit card by providing their card number through the site’s mobile app. CardSpring is the platform that then provides the capability for coupon providers, merchants and credit card networks to communicate so that when a customer uses his card to make a purchase, the card is recognized as one that contains a deal; the savings is immediately deducted from the bill.
Story by Hadley Malcolm for USA Today.

Paying Taxes with a Credit Card–A Bad Idea
April 16 is less than one month away, and paying your income taxes with a credit card may seem like an easy payment solution. But what you may not realize is the significant processing fee added to your tax bill when you pay by credit card. Unless your credit card reward program pays cash or miles that have a higher value than this processing fee, it doesn’t make sense to pay by credit card. In addition, paying by credit card has other financial risks. Story by LowCards.com.

Bank of America Sells Another International Unit
Bank of America will sell its Irish consumer credit card unit to Apollo Global, the latest business unit sale by a shrinking Bank of America. The bank had earlier said it would look to sell its European consumer credit card operations because they didn’t fit with the overall strategy of CEO Brian Moynihan. In short, the bank has decided that consumers in foreign lands, where the bank doesn’t have retail operations, are not essential to catering to clients in the U.S. The card unit in Ireland joins consumer cards in Spain and Canada in being sold by BofA. The bank also sold a business card unit in the U.K. last year. Story by David Benoit for the Wall Street Journal.

Social Media New College Frontier for Credit Card Marketers
Credit card companies are turning to social media outlets such as FaceBook to sign up college students, according to an analysis by University of South Carolina law professor Eboni Nelson. “Card companies continue to see consumers who are under age 21 as a profitable market and, as a result, they strategically have found ways to solicit the college-age crowd, including through social media,” said Nelson. Story in the Charleston Regional Business Journal.

Citi Credit Card Lets You Redeem Points at Register
The new Citi ThankYou Preferred 2G with Request Rewards allows you to pay for a purchase with rewards instead of cash. For the card to work, you need to press one of its two buttons before swiping. If you press the “Regular Credit” button, a blue light flashes and you can swipe your card just as you would with any other transaction (if you don’t press the button before swiping, it won’t work). But if you press the “Request Rewards” button and you have at least 1,000 points in your rewards bank, you will receive a $10 statement credit within one to two billing cycles. The technology powering the plastic, created by a company called Dynamics Inc., is pretty incredible. When you press the “request rewards” button, for
instance, it rewrites the coding embedded in the magnetic stripe on the back of the card, sending a message to the card issuer telling it that you’d like to use points. But that also means the cards must cost a lot to manufacture. While it did not charge for the 2G cards it sent to cardholders, Citi didn’t say whether it would charge anything if the bank decided to introduce them more broadly.
Story by Tara Siegel Barnard for the New York Times.

Four Costly Myths About Credit Cards
The credit card game has changed since the financial crisis, and if you’re starting over because of a financial or personal setback, or just starting out for the first time, it helps to know the rules. In particular, if you’ve been through a divorce, been widowed, lost a job or lost your home to foreclosure, there’s a good chance that credit card companies are now looking at you differently. It’s also a good time for you to re-evaluate what’s in your wallet. If you play your cards right, you can use your credit to your advantage, a particular benefit for those coping with a life-changing event. Here are some common misconceptions about credit cards. Story by Karen Blumenthal for the Wall Street Journal.

Discover Financial Posts Higher Profit
Discover Financial Services posted a higher quarterly profit, as more Americans used the company’s credit cards and fewer defaulted on their debts. For the first quarter, the credit card lender and payment processing network, earned $624 million, or $1.18 a share, compared with $459 million, or 84 cents a share, a year ago. Transaction volume for the payment services segment grew 8 percent to $46.7 billion. Story by Reuters.

LowCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report
Based on the 1000+ cards in the LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index, the average advertised APR for credit cards is 14.30 percent, slightly higher than the 14.29 percent last week. Six months ago, the average was 14.11 percent. One year ago, the average was 14.18 percent. Story by LowCards.com.

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The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 23, 2012. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


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