Authors

Curtis Arnold
Curtis Arnold, Editor-in-Chief
Joe Taylor
Joe Taylor Jr., Reporter
Amber Stubbs
Amber Stubbs, Managing Editor

Other News

  • CFPB report tracks billions in credit card savings since 2008

    American consumers pay about 2 percentage points less on credit card finance charges than before the enactment of the Credit CARD Act, according to a report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In a statement to reporters, CFPB officials expressed continued concern about bank disclosures, "fee harvester" credit cards for bad credit, and add-on [...]

  • Americans avoid credit card default as lenders offer help to furloughed government workers

    As the nation headed toward its own brush with its federal debt ceiling, relatively few Americans faced default on their personal credit cards. According to data released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian, national credit card default rates rose only slightly during September. 3.14 percent of bank card balances fell into default status during [...]

  • United States approaching cashless 'tipping point,' says MasterCard Advisors

    With Americans spending four out of every five dollars without cash, the United States approaches a tipping point toward a "cashless society." That finding comes from a MasterCard Advisors report that reviews how 33 of the world's major economic regions have transitioned from cash-based to cashless economies. Researchers discovered that consumers in Belgium, France and Canada [...]

  • FTC sending refund checks to victims of 'Card Services' telemarketers

    Victims of a fraudulent credit card interest rate reduction operation have started receiving refund checks after a three-year wait, according to Federal Trade Commission officials. Operators of JPM Accelerated Services settled with the FTC in 2010 after investigators alleged that the telemarketing firm failed to deliver on promises of credit card balance transfer deals and [...]

  • Barclaycard and Capital One hire more customer service help ahead of holiday season

    Barclaycard continues its North American expansion this fall with the announcement of an expansion to its operations center in Wilton, Maine. "This is another step in our journey to enhance our customer experience," Patrick Wright, Barclaycard US chief operating officer, said in a written statement. After years of proving white-label support for branded retail and airline credit [...]

  • Surveys reveal rising credit card balances, despite pessimism about the economy

    As summer winds down, Americans have braced themselves for some economic turbulence, according to a pair of consumer financial indices. More than half the respondents in Discover's poll of more than 8,000 consumers said they expect the economy to worsen over the coming months. That figure arrives on the heels of an Equifax report that [...]

  • Survey shows some credit card customers still don't understand rewards and rebates

    Fewer than two-thirds of American consumers fully understand the perks and benefits associated with their current credit cards, according to a study by consumer satisfaction researchers at J.D. Power. The agency's seventh annual U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study revealed improvements in customer service during a period when fewer Americans might have reasons to request late [...]

  • Americans squeeze more value from gift cards, even as stored balances soar

    Savvy shoppers and consumer-friendly regulations will keep more value on holiday gift cards than ever before, according to researchers at an executive think tank. In a statement to reporters, representatives from CEB TowerGroup Research said that nearly 85 percent of the U.S. population exchanged prepaid gift cards during 2012, for a total of over $110 [...]

  • Research shows 1 in 20 households earn "Superbanked" status with multiple accounts

    Approximately 5 percent of American households carry multiple accounts at multiple banks, according to new research from Scarborough. The consumer insight firm launched a study of "atypical bankers," Americans who either avoid traditional financial institutions or choose to spread credit cards and other accounts across many different banks and brokerages. Though numerous studies have focused on [...]

  • Fed data shows split between debit card transaction costs

    Most retailers now spend just 24 cents to process a debit card transaction, down from 43 cents in 2009, according to data released this month by the Federal Reserve Board. The Fed has stepped into a dispute between banks and retailers with statistics showing the impact of new interchange fee caps. Under the terms of the [...]

  • USAA, AmEx, Discover top Temkin Forgiveness Ratings for credit card issuers

    Balance transfer offers aren't the only reason consumers switch credit card issuers. According to a new report from the Temkin Group, Americans can hold a grudge when a bank makes a mistake, often resulting in switched accounts. The company's annual Temkin Forgiveness Ratings report ranked over 200 businesses based on whether customers would let a [...]

  • Iberiabank celebrates 125 years

    Iberiabank, a regional bank with locations in 12 states, is celebrating its 125th anniversary, the company announced. The company started in Louisiana in 1887, and has grown to 173 bank branch locations and offers four Visa credit cards. The bank has made its name in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida as a locally focused institution, [...]

  • Visa tracks dip in Valentine's Day spending

    A modest dip in average spending for Valentine's Day gifts will put more pressure on American men, according to a survey commissioned by Visa Inc. Whether it's a ripple effect from a better-than-expected Christmas season or simply a return to traditional expectations, women in Visa's survey told researchers that they expected to spend less this [...]

  • AmEx, CapOne report higher credit card balances in Q4

    The year has just begun but it already appears consumer confidence is on the uptick. Two major credit card issuers, American Express and Capital One, have revealed that their U.S. credit card loan balances rose in the fourth quarter of last year, according to company press releases. Capital One reported its U.S. credit-card loans grew 5.1 [...]

  • Strong holiday spending could prompt new credit card offers

    Americans took on more credit card debt during the 2011 holiday season without going overboard, according to statistics from Experian and the Federal Reserve. Government officials announced figures from November that show a $20 billion spike in consumer spending, the biggest holiday rebound in over a decade. Though auto sales played a major part in the [...]

  • Credit union member satisfaction scores set new records

    Banks still haven't counted the full cost of business they've lost to credit unions over the past few months, but a major consumer sentiment indicator shows that member-owned financial institutions lead the industry in customer satisfaction. According to survey results released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, credit unions scored an 87 on a 1-to-100 [...]

  • Discover: Holiday budgets rise slightly in 2011

    Most Americans expect to add the equivalent of a box of chocolates, a fancy bar of soap, or a coffee gift set to their holiday shopping lists this year, according to new research from Discover Card. The editors of Cosmopolitan recommend all three of those gifts for shoppers who need a stocking stuffer for less [...]

  • House bill proposes credit card blockade to fight media piracy

    Critics of a new intellectual property proposal circulating on Capitol Hill worry that it could inadvertently wreak havoc on legitimate e-commerce websites by suspending their ability to accept credit cards. Sponsors of HR 3261, the Stop Online Privacy Act, proposed new rules that would exempt credit card processors, ISPs, and other third-party technology vendors from [...]

  • Citizens Bank offers zero-interest credit to Irene victims

    Those who have been affected by the destructive force of Hurricane Irene now have a light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to a set of generous offers from Citizens Bank. This national bank has opened its doors to consumers, small businesses and nonprofit groups who need a quick influx of cash, helping them [...]

  • AmEx, Chase and B of A lead corporate support of 9/11 Day Observance

    American Express, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America lead a pack of corporate donors throwing their weight behind a nationwide day of volunteer service observing the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Organizers of the nonprofit 9/11 Day Observance coalition announced plans for events surrounding the federally recognized 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. In [...]

  • Signs of life: Credit card spending up over 10 percent

    The latest Nilson Report findings for the first quarter of 2011 show good news for credit card companies and merchants alike: credit card spending is up, and that's only part of the total boost in nationwide overall spending. Credit card spending rebounds Total spending on credit, debit, and prepaid cards was $835.18 billion, an increase of 10.8 [...]

  • Credit card spam payments handled by just a few offshore banks, say researchers

    Credit card transactions for products and services advertised via junk email originate with just a handful of banks, according to a team of California academics. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Diego used prepaid Visa and MasterCard debit cards to follow the money trail from their inboxes to the [...]

  • Best credit card deals keep getting better as card issuers compete for consumers

    How much does it take to win customers away from a competing credit card? That's the game that banks and credit card issuers are playing today, with increasing rewards and signing bonuses accompanying nearly every credit offer. According to the Wall Street Journal, these offers may include everything from free airfare or triple rewards points to [...]

  • TransUnion study shows two-thirds of Americans are stressed about money

    TransUnion, one of the three major credit card bureaus, released a new credit study on April 5, 2011. The findings include the less-than-startling news that nearly two-thirds of American adults worry about money. Commissioned by TransUnion and conducted by Zogby International, the survey shows that 65 percent of Americans report feeling stressed about money and [...]

  • FTC recommends credit cards for disaster relief donations

    Criminals won't hesitate to use natural disasters to collect credit card numbers from unsuspecting donors, according to a new report from the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC alerted consumers that scam artists could portray themselves as collectors for disaster relief efforts in Japan and elsewhere. Agency officials advised prospective donors to review the FTC's Charity [...]

  • Network outage causes over 400,000 double-billed card transactions at Shell stations

    A recent credit card processing error by a major gas retailer has consumers across the United States double-checking bank statements this month. According to a report on Consumers Union's blog, The Consumerist, Shell stations nationwide experienced an outage on the network they use to securely process credit card and debit card transactions. Under ordinary circumstances, [...]

  • Wells Fargo launches online budgeting with My Money Map

    Wells Fargo wants consumers to take the Money Map as seriously as the bathroom scale. Bank officials announced the launch of My Money Map, a free tool that helps account holders track their finances online. Dynamic charts track a customer's spending and saving activity against their budget goals using real-time updates from their checking and [...]

  • MasterCard Buys Prepaid Debit Card Management Unit from Travelex

    MasterCard expanded its footprint in the global prepaid debit card market this month when it acquired the Card Program Management operations of Travelex. Frequent business travelers recognize the Travelex brand from its successful currency conversion service bureaus in major airports and world capitals. The company pioneered the use of stored value debit cards to eliminate [...]

  • Brazil and China catching up to U.S. in credit card activations

    Consumers from emerging markets have shifted the balance of power among major credit card issuers, according to researchers at the Lafferty Group. Two banks from China and three lenders from Brazil placed among the research group's list of top ten credit card issuers, measured by number of accounts.With most accounts under its Chase Credit Cards [...]

  • Credit card payoffs could hurt credit unions

    According to analyst reports, Americans' sudden urge to pay down their credit card balances could be putting credit unions under significant pressure. With certificates of deposit and other long-term savings vehicles producing annual percentage yields in the low single digits, many consumers have chosen instead to pay down credit cards with double-digit interest rates. Industry [...]

  • Credit card processor BluePay earns Inc. 500 ranking

    Inc. Magazine named credit card processing company BluePay to its 2010 "Inc. 500" list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States. BluePay's ranking reflects the rising demand for its core service, enabling small- and medium-sized businesses to accept credit cards both in person and online. Small business owners, especially restaurant and e-commerce [...]

  • Ticketless Events Use Credit Cards to Foil Scalpers

    Credit cards aren't just good for nabbing hot concert tickets anymore. In some cases, credit cards have become the tickets. This summer, TicketMaster will expand its "ticketless events" pilot program for popular tours, including those by Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. Instead of printing out tickets, concertgoers will scan their credit cards and drivers' licenses [...]

  • Mintel Comperemedia Tracking Economic Health Through Online Advertising

    Direct marketing analysts at Mintel Comperemedia plan to start tracking online advertising this spring, according to a company announcement. The service will scan 4,000 of the country's leading websites for evidence of new advertising campaigns. Subscribers can then use the data generated to understand the effectiveness of ad campaigns, based on demographics and expenditures. Websites [...]

  • Credit Card Direct Mail Offers Up 36% from Last Year

    Credit card companies contributed to growth in the direct mail sector during the first quarter of 2010, according to a new industry study. Marketing intelligence experts at Mintel Comperemedia released results of their latest direct marketing tracking figures this week. Although the report indicates that insurance mailings still outweigh credit card offers by a ratio [...]

  • Comptroller's Credit Card Industry Ties Questioned by New York Times

    An insider tour of the agency tasked with managing consumer complaints about credit card companies has raised concerns on the website of the New York Times. A recent Times profile of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency described the agency's Houston call center and detailed some of the common complaints handled there, such [...]

  • Four More Bank Failures Could Result in Credit Card Account Closures

    Four more banks joined the ranks of failed financial institutions in February, bringing the number of FDIC takeovers to twenty. La Jolla Bank (CA), George Washington Savings Bank (IL), Marco Community Bank (FL), and La Coste National Bank (TX) all received visits from FDIC personnel to begin the process of transferring assets to new administrators.According to [...]

  • Blippy Offers Both Practical Credit Card Tracking and Social Media Fun

    Transparency has become the hallmark of the social web. Twitter and Facebook already allow users to share intimate personal status updates, with services like Loopt and Foursquare enabling some Americans to chronicle their every move in real time. Now, a new startup company aims to help consumers reveal every detail of their spending habits. Blippy [...]

  • Credit Card Crunch Threatens Independent Film

    Most Americans use credit cards to pay for long term expenses or for special treats. A few credit card account holders aim even higher with their wallets, by winning Academy Awards. At this year's Sundance Film Festival, documentary filmmaker Jeffrey Blitz explained to CNN Money reporter Cindy Waxer that credit cards have become an essential tool [...]

  • Survey Reveals 20% of Americans Using Credit Cards Less Often

    Results from a December consumer survey show that Americans have reacted to upcoming banking reforms by reducing their credit card use and carefully evaluating the cards they carry. The survey, commissioned by First Command Financial Services, revealed that roughly one in five respondents chose to use their credit cards less often in 2009. Meanwhile, 15% [...]

  • Credit Card Donations Reach Disaster Victims Faster Than Text Messages

    On a recent MSNBC broadcast, host Rachel Maddow discovered a little-known fact about text message charges that marketers have understood for some time. Mobile phone carriers can easily collect "third-party" fees on behalf of charities when subscribers send messages to special "short code" numbers. However, since most Americans use "post-paid" mobile phones, it can take [...]

  • Final Wave of Credit Card Notices Looks Like Junk Mail, Watchdogs Say

    Buried among the holiday sales flyers and charity appeal letters, modest-looking envelopes could contain major news about consumer credit cards. Under new rules in 2010, account changes must be communicated through clear, direct mailings. However, a handful of lenders have decided to notify some customers about last minute modifications to their accounts by sending letters [...]

  • Credit Card Convenience Checks Bounce on Surprised Account Holders

    Some Americans attempting to use credit card convenience checks issued earlier in the year have discovered some hard truths about borrowing in the post-recession economy. A Bloomberg News report profiles a pair of consumers reeling from unexpected fees and legal bills after convenience checks they used were rejected for major purchases. In both cases, lenders cut [...]

  • Credit Card Kettles Safe for Holiday Donations, Say Officials

    Salvation Army chapters in major cities have deployed even more credit card-enabled red kettles for this holiday season. However, some consumers worry that fraudsters with credit card skimmers could hijack donors' goodwill, along with their identities. According to law enforcement officials, skimming rings prey on consumers too busy to think critically about their surroundings. For [...]

  • Credit Card Bonuses Delight Holiday Shoppers

    Credit and charge card issuers partner with hotels and restaurants to give shoppers a little extra bang for their holiday bucks. American Express leads the pack, with selections of limited time offers for road warriors looking to take a little time for themselves during the holiday season. Card issuers announce enhancements to their usual cash back reward program [...]

  • Credit Card Direct Mail Surge May Signal Improved Financial Outlook

    After tracking months of declining direct mail offers, a prominent market research team sees a sudden uptick that could mark the return of strong competition among lenders. In their monthly analysis of financial marketing outreach, Mintel Compremedia measured a 39% increase in the number of credit card solicitations by mail between September and October 2009. [...]

  • Chicago Death Due to Credit Card Abuse, Says Coroner

    Business credit card use has returned to the spotlight in Chicago, where officials say a school board official accused of improper spending committed suicide. Police reported that Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Monday. Members of Scott's family have criticized the city's coroner for speculating that Scott killed himself [...]

  • Credit Card Direct Mail Offers Drop by Over Two-Thirds

    Online credit card offers provide far better deals than today's crop of direct mail pitches, according to a new market research study. Business intelligence experts and Mintel Comperemedia reviewed the contents and the quantity of credit card direct mail marketing campaigns over the past year. The researchers discovered a 71% drop in the number of new [...]

  • Credit Card Loyalty Programs Disappearing

    Credit card reward programs may be racing frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty programs to their finish, according to recent news reports. For months, banking industry analysts have speculated that new credit card regulations and proposals to limit interchange fees could hinder banks' ability to fund splashy reward programs. However, economic pressure on the travel industry [...]

  • Pew Survey Documents "Deceptive" Online Credit Card Offers

    If government regulators flipped the switch on new credit card rules today, the twelve largest U.S. banks would have to pull down all of their online offers. That's the finding of a new report released by the Pew Charitable Trust in advance of Credit CARD Act regulations set to take effect in February. The Philadelphia nonprofit [...]

  • Outsourced Credit Card Programs Help Small Banks Attract Customers

    If it seems like just about every small bank or credit union offers credit cards with perks and benefits just like those from major lenders, you can thank service providers like TSYS. The payment solution company recently announced the formation of TSYS Program Solutions, a new division that offers turnkey credit card marketing and management programs for [...]

  • Credit Card Holders Preparing for Unemployment Surge

    Two bellwethers of American consumer sentiment signaled this week that the United States credit card industry hasn't seen the last of economic trouble. Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's released findings from its credit card index, which measures the quality of consumer lenders' debt portfolios. S&P's July numbers show that fewer Americans abandoned their credit card payments, [...]

  • Credit Card Issuers Seek TALF Funding Before Deadline

    Credit card issuers have until September 3rd to line up special financing under the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF. The Federal Reserve launched TALF to help lenders increase liquidity, a move that economists hope will help jumpstart small business and consumer lending. Some credit card companies have already announced their participation in TALF, including: Alliance [...]

  • Credit Card Issuers Get Analyst Upgrade

    Good news from a respected analyst boosted the stock of three major credit card issuers this week. Some of Wall Street's most familiar names--American Express, Discover Card, and Capital One Financial--all experienced stock price bumps after getting positive report cards from Barclays Capital analyst Bruce Harting.In an optimistic note to clients, Harting expressed his expectation that all three [...]

  • Credit Card Issuers Compete for Affluent Customers with TV Ads

    As the American economy shows signs of strength into the late summer, two major credit card issuers have launched media campaigns to reinforce the added value of paying with plastic. Chase formally rolls out its new Sapphire product, emphasizing special rewards and service for affluent customers. Meanwhile, Discover Card Financial Services debuts a series of advertisements designed [...]