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Dec. 4, 2012 weekly credit card news review

By , CardRatings contributor
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Redeeming rewards for gifts, helping the homeless and Justin Bieber's endorsement of a prepaid card highlight this week's credit card news.

Etiquette police: Should you redeem points to pay for gifts?

Trying to keep holiday spending under control, many might use their credit card rewards points to pay for gifts. Liz Weston and Jodi R.R. Smith, an etiquette expert, weigh in on the topic on CardRatings.com this week. Surprisingly, Smith says it doesn't matter how you pay for the gift, it's the gift that counts. But Weston has other advice.

The "Mercy Card" to help the homeless

As we head into winter, we will no doubt be seeing more people in need on the streets. But with fewer people carrying cash, sometimes they don't have cash to offer. And often people are unwilling to give the homeless money because of doubts about how it will be spent. Jed JohnHope, a Chicago-area entrepreneur, has come up with the Mercy Card, a prepaid card that can be used in restaurants, but nowhere else. Sandy Guy of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote about the nonprofit venture last week week. The card won't launch until March 2013 and the company is currently signing partners to accept the cards.

Bieber putting name to Bill My Parents card

Jeanine Skowronski has a good column on BankThink about the role of celebrity endorsers of prepaid cards, on the heels of the news that Just Bieber is going to endorse the BillMyParents product. In addition to discussing the Bieber deal, she looks at other celebrities who have put their names on prepaid cards, such as Suze Orman, Russell Simmons and even Alex Rodriguez. With 45 million Facebook fans and 30 million Twitter followers, expect Bieber to be a great pitchman for the prepaid card.

Capital One acquires Bundle

Bundle.com, which was a co-venture of Microsoft, Citi and Morningstar, has been acquired by Capital One, according to Tech Crunch. (Nothing on Capital One's press section about the acquisition.) As the Tech Crunch article notes, Capital One will fold it into Capital One's Digital Labs and "plans to use Bundle's aggregated spending and local directory data to deliver new data-powered products to its own customers."

Current credit card rates from CardRatings.com as of Dec. 4, 2012

Type of card

This week

Last week

Low Intro. Rate

0.20%

0.20%

Limited/No Credit

19.59%

19.59%

Low Ongoing Rate

14.50%

14.50%

Air Miles/Travel

16.33%

16.33%

Rewards Points

16.70%

16.70%

Cash Back

16.10%

16.10%

Student

16.15%

16.15%

Business

15.41%

15.41%

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