Tuesday,11th June, 2013
There was a time when many credit card companies offered cash incentives to encourage consumers to apply for their products. Now there are fewer, and most offer miles or points. But there are still some attractive deals out there, and here are some of the best currently available. All such bonuses come with strings: You have to spend a certain amount on the card within a set period, usually three months after the account is opened. The spending threshold for each in the lists below is shown in brackets. Credit cards offering cash/cash-equivalent sign-up bonuses
Wednesday,29th May, 2013
Citi recently commissioned a poll to find out more about Americans' bill-paying habits. It did so to promote one of its credit cards, which, it says, was "designed to provide a simplified credit experience and alleviate the frustration of late fees." Besides promising not to levy those fees, Citi also says it won't charge penalty rates to those who pay late -- but both those offers apply only to those with this one particular card: the Citi Simplicity® Card. Late payments common The survey, conducted in April, found some interesting statistics. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they'd paid one or more bills late at some point in their lives. No surprise there -- except, perhaps, that it's so few. What's more startling is that 88 percent of those who have ever done so had made a late payment within the previous 12 months. Credit cards and late payments
Wednesday,22nd May, 2013
In late March, we reported on some recent innovations from MasterCard that were designed to make it easier for small businesses to track and manage credit card expenses (see MasterCard improves receipt management for business credit cards). However, the competitive advantage provided by some of those new technologies may prove short-lived, as Chase recently unveiled a seemingly similar alternative. Small business credit cards and smartphones It was on May 6 that Chase announced enhancements to its Jot expenses-management service. This now offers a free app for Android and Apple iOS-compatible products, although those without smart devices can use their laptops or desktops to achieve similar outcomes.
Wednesday,15th May, 2013
On April 23, American Express announced it was starting to issue U.S. business credit cards and charge cards that are "EMV-compliant," meaning that each new card will come with a tiny on-board microprocessor chip. EMV, which provides enhanced security through something called "dynamic encryption technology," has already been adopted in most first-world and some less-developed countries, and cardmembers may find the new plastic more widely accepted when traveling abroad. American Express, which is starting its roll out with its premium corporate cards, has opted for chip-and-signature, rather than chip-and-PIN, technology. This allows users to continue to sign for purchases, and it has the advantage of not requiring cardmembers to remember yet another four-digit personal identification number (PIN). Credit cards with limitations
Wednesday,15th May, 2013
It recently emerged that, between December 2012 and April 2013, two prepaid-card issuers were victims of a crime Reuters dubbed a "global cyber heist." Criminals netted during that period a haul of $45 million as gangs in 27 countries around the world used thousands of ATMs to access the cash. Seven American alleged perpetrators have been arrested, but an eighth suspect is believed to have been killed while overseas. All were, according to The Washington Post, living in Yonkers, NY, at the time of the offense, and most were young men. Credit card companies and insecure technology The heist was enabled by flaws in the IT security systems used by the prepaid card issuers. One scenario, suggested by PaymentViews, is that hackers sent "spear phishing" emails to key employees in two India-based payment-processing organizations. Once opened, these released malware that provided access to key databases and applications, which, in turn, permitted the gang to withdraw large amounts of cash from ATMs.
Wednesday,08th May, 2013
It's easy to miss opportunities available to holders of rewards credit cards. And that means you may not be fully enjoying everything the plastic in your wallet offers. So here's a roundup of recent announcements. Chase grilling Chase is hosting a live on-stage battle between chefs to discover the ultimate barbecue feast. The Las Vegas event is scheduled for the evening of May 11, and holders of Chase Sapphire Preferred® cards can buy VIP tickets -- perhaps by redeeming Ultimate Rewards points -- that could, in the words of a spokesperson, provide an "opportunity for cardholders to taste and witness true culinary magic first-hand."
Wednesday,10th April, 2013
Financial Literacy Month, which is April, could hardly have started better. On the event's second day, the American Bankers Association (ABA) published data about financial delinquencies (accounts 30 days or more past due) for the last quarter of 2012, and the results suggest a truly spectacular swing away from the dark days of problem credit card debt during and immediately after the recent recession. Credit card delinquencies hit 18-year low After tumbling 28 basis points in that quarter alone, the delinquency rate ended the year at 2.47 percent. That doesn't compare well just with the worst periods in recent years. It's the lowest since the third quarter of 1994, and significantly below the 3.87-percent mark, which is the average rate for the whole of the last 15 years.