2012 Balance transfer survey

We updated our semiannual survey of balance transfer offers, and found many offers from nearly all of the major credit card issuers. Some of the offers have 0 percent interest rates for balances transferred during the promotional period as well as new purchase APRs at 0 percent interest for six to 18 months.

Consumers pulling back on credit card spending

The Federal Reserve's G.19 monthly report on consumer credit showed that revolving credit - primarily credit cards - declined for the second month. Preliminary July results put total outstanding credit at $850.7 billion, down from $855.5 billion in June. Revolving credit has been around the $850 billion level since 2010, declining from $921.9 billion in 2009 to $850.2 billion in 2010.

Are you ready for some football - and credit card spending?

Along with the 2012-2013 NFL season opening, Visa kicked off its new "Visa NFL Fan Offers," which provides "epic" giveaways for enrolled cardholders. The program also offers discounts on pizza, NFL-related apparel, and the "Madden NFL 13" video game. A sweepstakes provides opportunities to win experiences such as a game day speech by San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh or watch a game with John Madden. They're also using Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (@TeamVisa, #MakeItEpic) to deliver content and "chances for epic opportunities throughout the season."

AAA and Bank of America rolling out EMV cards

What took them so long? AAA, the largest travel organization in the U.S., announced that its cards, issued by Bank of America, will have chip technology in addition to the magnetic stripe. Current cardholders should call the customer service number to request a new card; new cardholders will be issued EMV cards later this year, according to the press release.

Instant plastic

Fiserv announced a new platform that will allow bank branches to issue credit and debit cards instantly to new cardholders or replace lost cards. Financial institutions using this platform will be able to issue ATM, debit, credit, gift, contactless and EMV cards. They can also access 80 designs from which cardholders can customize their cards.