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.
Wednesday,27th March, 2013
On March 21, MasterCard unveiled important innovations that could help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across America and beyond to streamline further their management of business expenses. Building on its existing Smart Data electronic reporting solution, the company has introduced a number of new or enhanced services, perhaps the most important of which is one that could eliminate the need for paper receipts among holders of MasterCard business credit cards. Business credit cards and the demise of the paper receipt This particular innovation is based on the new Smart Data Mobile Receipt Capture App, which comes in iOS (Apple), Android and Blackberry flavors. Cardholders download this onto their smartphones or tablets, and then use these devices to take pictures of receipts as they make payments. Those images are then uploaded, to be matched and attached to the transaction when users next file an expense report.
Wednesday,13th March, 2013
It was in September 2010 that Southwest Airlines -- the nation's largest carrier by some measures -- announced its acquisition of Orlando-based AirTran Airways, and it has been nearly two years since the Department of Justice gave the deal its approval. So holders of AirTran-branded airline credit cards might by now be forgiven for assuming that nothing much was going to change for them. How wrong they'd be. AirTran airline credit cards migrate On Mar. 5, Chase Card Services announced that it was taking over AirTran's credit card portfolio, effective Apr. 25, from previous issuer Barclays. Existing customers should soon find formal notifications of the change in their mail boxes, and those who wish to retain their accounts should receive replacement cards for use from Apr. 29. The old cards should continue to be used until that date.
Wednesday,27th February, 2013
A few weeks ago, we at IndexCreditCards.com posed the question Why Do Private Label Credit Cards Still Exist? ("Private-label" cards are also known as "store" or "store-branded" cards.) We concluded that they're still around because retailers find them valuable and invest heavily in promoting them in their outlets. In particular, large discounts on that day's shopping are frequently used as a hook to lure consumers, who are often reeled in using high-pressure sales pitches by clerks at points of sale. Credit card rates higher on store cards Three key ways in which mainstream credit cards are much superior: They're more flexible. You can use them anywhere; not just in the store whose name is on the plastic. They're nearly always cheaper. Credit card rates on proper plastic are on average much lower than on store cards. Rewards credit cards can often match or beat the loyalty bonuses and other perks offered on private label plastic. Benefits for retailers confirmed