Personal Finance

This Week In Credit Card News: Card Issuers Offering Up To $500 On Refer-A-Friend Programs

Earn Up to $500 a Year When You Refer a Friend to These Cards

If you’re looking for alternative ways to earn rewards or bonuses from your credit card, referral bonuses may be your answer. Discover, Chase, Capital One and American Express all offer opportunities to earn cash and rewards bonuses when you refer a friend who is approved for one of their card products. []

How Covid-19 Could Disrupt Store Credit Cards

Before Covid-19 forced nonessential retailers to close, consumers faced a familiar interaction at the checkout counter: the store credit card pitch. But now, store employees can’t pitch as many consumers these store cards in person. So what does the ongoing pandemic mean for store credit cards? Research suggests that consumers may be more interested in them, but financial institutions aren’t extending credit to as many borrowers. [Retail Dive]

How Amex Has Innovated to Keep Cardholders Engaged in 2020

American Express was one of the first credit card companies to make accommodations for the drastic shift in consumer behavior earlier this year. In May, Amex led the pack with tangible, limited time offers to provide value to cardholders in this new reality that we’re living in. Just a month later, their “Shop Small” promotional campaign elevated the profile of independent stores and restaurants at a time when they needed it most. Finally, with an additional three months to earn a welcome offer, various retention offers, “Appreciation Credits” and other bonuses, Amex has been able to foster goodwill with its customer base. [The Points Guy]

Visa Is Doing What Big American Companies Do to ‘Protect This Business’

Visa dominates the lucrative business of processing debit card transactions. A San Francisco technology start-up named Plaid threatened that dominance. The company planned to debut a rival service next year that would charge half as much as Visa. So Visa did what big American companies have learned to do: It agreed to buy the smaller company, pledging a king’s ransom to eliminate the threat of competition. Last month, the Justice Department sued to block the deal as a violation of antitrust law. [The New York Times]

More Americans Pay Rent On Credit Cards As Lawmakers Fail To Pass Relief Bill

With their savings running out, many Americans are being forced to use credit cards to pay for bills they can’t afford, even their rent. Housing experts and economists say this is a blinking-red warning light that without more relief from Congress, the economy is headed for even more serious trouble. There’s been as much as a 70% increase from last year in people paying rent on a credit card. [NPR]

Despite Covid, Credit Card Debt Sinks to Lowest Level Since 2017

During the pandemic-created recession, when millions of Americans are strapped for cash, you’d think that more of us would turn to credit cards to help tide us over. It appears that just the opposite has happened, though. Before 2020, consumer credit card debt grew for eight consecutive years, hitting a record high of $829 million in 2019, according to new data from Experian. But in the past year, that tally fell by 9%. It’s the lowest dollar amount since 2017. [Bankrate]

More Shoppers Favor Local, Minority-Owned Businesses

A move to mindful shopping has American consumers favoring small, local stores and those owned by Black merchants, women and other minorities, according to a new spending survey by Mastercard
. Three-quarters of the 2,017 people surveyed said they planned to shop more consciously and spend at smaller, minority-owned stores. Some 77% percent said they planned to shop local. [PYMNTS]

Stripe to Offer Banking Services in Deal With Goldman Sachs, Citigroup

Stripe is teaming up with banks including Goldman Sachs Group
and Citigroup to offer checking accounts and other business-banking services, the startup’s latest attempt to become the internet economy’s financial supermarket. Stripe, which processes payments for millions of online businesses and e-commerce platforms, will soon give its customers the option of offering insured, interest-bearing bank accounts, debit cards and other cash-management services. These products aren’t meant for consumers. Rather, they are designed for the merchants and vendors that do business with Stripe’s customers. [The Wall Street Journal]

$10 Credit Cards, $2 PayPal Accounts, and More on the Dark Web This Holiday Season

This holiday season, more consumers than ever will be shopping digitally, and cybercriminals are already capitalizing on the opportunity. There’s a continued rise in e-skimming attacks in the retail sector, where attackers inject JavaScript into website payment processing pages in order to siphon credit cards and account credentials from customers. Swiped credit cards are going for an average rate of $10-20 per card on the dark web. PayPal accounts are selling for $2-$10 per account, with those accounts loaded with more money costing more. [Security Magazine]

Visa Backs the First-Ever Credit Card to Offer Bitcoin Rewards

It’s about to get a lot easier to earn bitcoin, thanks to a first-of-its-kind credit card: the Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card. While there are debit cards by Coinbase and Fold that offer bitcoin rewards, this is the first credit card that rewards you with the cryptocurrency, instead of points or miles. Visa and cryptocurrency financial tech company BlockFi have partnered to release the Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card to U.S. residents in all states except for New York (due to regulatory restrictions) in spring 2021. Cardholders will earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases that will automatically be converted to bitcoin and placed into a BlockFi account every month. [CNBC]

Google Fires Next Salvo in Big Tech’s War on Banking

Google has loosed a double-barreled challenge on the financial services business. The big tech announced major advancements in functionality for its Google Pay digital wallet. Then, it revealed more details about its partnership expansion with banks and credit unions, which now has a name: Plex By Google Pay. [The Financial Brand]

7-Eleven Mobile Wallet Offers Contactless Payment Option

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has introduced the 7-Eleven mobile wallet, a contactless way for customers to pay at participating U.S. stores. Customers can access the wallet through the 7-Eleven app and securely load funds to use at checkout using cash, debit and credit cards, Apple
Pay, Google Pay and prepaid 7-Eleven gift cards. Cash must be loaded at the store but all other payment methods can be loaded in the app without a loading or transaction fees or incurring fees from credit cards charge. [PYMNTS]

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