Nov. 7, 2012 weekly credit card news review

Written by Ellen Cannon
Posted On: November 7, 2012

Like much of the news this past week, Hurricane Sandy dominates the credit card news. This week is highlighted by the donations the major issuers are making to Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.

Credit card issuers help after Sandy

A number of the issuers took action after Superstorm Sandy last week. American Express announced it will rebate the interchange fee to 10 non-profits for donations made by cardholders, including the Red Cross, Humane Society, and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. AmEx also donated $1 million to the Red Cross and other organizations helping with relief efforts. Cardholders could also donate Membership Rewards points. Bank of America also said it would donate $1 million to aid relief agencies, including $500,000 to the Red Cross. BofA has also created a disaster relief program for cardholders living in the hard-hit areas in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Chase waived late fees for credit cards for cardholders in those states through November 7. Chase also pledged $5 million for various relief efforts. And Capital One made a commitment of $1 million for Sandy relief. Citi added a $1 million donation to the Red Cross, in addition to its annual $500,000 contribution to the Red Cross's Disaster Giving Program.

Consumer Action compares the comparers

For its annual credit card survey, Consumer Action compared credit card comparison sites, including CardRatings.com. We met eight of the nine criteria Consumer Action used to judge the sites. The criteria were: intuitive user interface, results from many issuers, ability to search anonymously, unbiased information and advice, side-by-side comparison of rates and fees, search filters, consumer reviews fo cards, up-to-date information, and debt repayment calculators.

Swipe fees' controversy continues

An economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Nancy Folbre, examined the battle over swipe fees on the Economix blog in The New York Times this week. While the Durbin amendment to Dodd-Frank that lowered debit fees was finalized, the battle over the fees continues. On the retailers' side, she notes, "These [credit card] fees now represent one of the largest costs of doing business in retail." Her article breaks down the various lawsuits, settlements, and other aspects of the swipe fee issue.

The Points Guy loves his Bluebird card

Brian Kelly, The Points Guy, began using the American Express prepaid Bluebird card recently, and wrote his review here. He's raving about it: "So to say that I'm impressed with Bluebird would be the understatement of the century." He's getting 5 Chase points per dollar using the Bluebird card, and is even paying his mortgage and HOA bills. His article details how he's maximizing his points, and what the limits are.

Current Credit Card Rates from CardRatings.com as of Nov. 6, 2012

Type of card

This week

Two weeks ago

Low Intro. Rate

0.19%

0.19%

Limited/No Credit

19.53%

20.02%

Low Ongoing Rate

13.95%

13.95%

Air Miles/Travel

14.97%

14.97%

Rewards Points

16.69%

16.69%

Cash Back

16.10%

16.10%

Student

16.15%

16.15%

Business

15.41%

15.41%

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