A Talking Credit Card; A Proposal To Drastically Cut Late Fees

Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Lower Credit Card Late Fees

The Biden administration on Wednesday proposed a rule to limit late fees on credit cards, kicking off a regulatory battle with banks that issue the cards. The rule put forward by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aims to lower penalties to $8 from as much as $41 for a missed payment, according to the CFPB, which said the fees typically far exceed the card issuers’ costs to collect late payments. [The Wall Street Journal]

Talking Credit Cards Help Visually Impaired People Prevent Abuse

Credit cards are not easy for visually impaired people to use because they can’t always see the terminal to know where to insert their card. But the main challenge for blind people is that they can’t confirm whether the price the retailer keys in is accurate. To alleviate that problem, French tech firm Thales has developed a credit card that talks. This credit card doesn’t only contain a payment chip but another piece of electronics that enables you to connect it to the user’s cellphone. This connection enables the reception via Bluetooth of all the information that is displayed on the card payment terminal. The smartphone then vocalizes that transaction through a speaker or headphones in French, English or a number of other languages. [Marketplace]

What Fed Rate Increases Mean for Mortgages, Credit Cards and More

As the Federal Reserve has lifted its key interest rate several times over the past year, Americans have seen the effects on both sides of the household ledger: Savers benefit from higher yields, but borrowers pay more. Credit card rates are closely linked to the Fed’s actions, so consumers with revolving debt can expect to see those rates rise, usually within one or two billing cycles. The average credit card rate was 19.9% as of Jan. 25, according to Bankrate.com, up from around 16% in March last year, when the Fed began its series of rate increases. [The New York Times]

Credit Card Debt Rose Hand in Hand with Inflation Last Year

In the last quarter of 2022, the average credit card debt per borrower increased to $5,804, compared to around $5,100 for the same period in 2021 and 2020. Overall, collective credit card balances reached about $930 billion in the last quarter of 2022, an 18.5% jump and new record high, TransUnion says. That tracks with previous third-quarter data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which found credit card balances increased to $930 billion, a 15% year-over-year uptick. [Money]

85% of Consumers Feel More Secure in Life with a Healthy Credit Score

Of U.S. consumers, 85% say they feel more secure in the rest of their lives when their credit score is healthy, according to a national survey released by FICO last week. It also found that about one-third of Americans feel financially insecure, and 43% say the unstable economy is a barrier towards achieving financial goals. The survey results suggest that even during periods of economic uncertainty, good credit helps people feel more in control. [The Motley Fool]

Record $3.8 Billion Stolen in Crypto Hacks Last Year

A record $3.8 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from various services last year, with much of those thefts driven by North Korean-linked hackers, according to a new report. The increase in crypto heists, from $3.3 billion in 2021, came as the overall market for cryptocurrencies suffered significant declines. The value of Bitcoin, for example, fell by more than 60% last year. North Korea was a key driver for the surge in thefts, according to the report. Hackers linked to the country stole an estimated $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency through various hacks in 2022, up from $429 million in the prior year. [CNN]

It’s Live! Delta’s New Credit Card Benefit for 15% Off Award Flights

Delta and American Express officially launched TakeOff 15, a splashy benefit for both new and existing Delta SkyMiles American Express credit cardholders that gets you at least a 15% discount on SkyMiles award tickets booked through Delta. TakeOff 15 is a new benefit for Delta SkyMiles American Express cardholders that provides at least a 15% mileage discount when redeeming SkyMiles for Delta-operated award flights. It’s available on both consumer and business versions of the Delta SkyMiles Gold, Platinum, and Reserve credit cards. [Thrifty Traveler]

Beyoncé Is Going on Tour, and a Citi Card Can Help You Get a Ticket

The demand for Beyoncé’s latest tour is sure to be astronomical for this global icon who hasn’t toured since 2018. If you’re hoping to catch one of Beyoncé’s U.S. concerts, your Citi card could help you score these coveted tickets. All Citi cards that have the Visa or Mastercard logo and Citi debit cards with the Mastercard logo are eligible. Before registering for the Citi presale of your choice, you’ll first need to add your qualifying Citi card as a payment option in your Ticketmaster account. After adding the card to your Ticketmaster account, you’ll then have to complete the Verified Fan registration to access the presale. [NerdWallet]

American Express Launches Financial Management Tools for Small Businesses

American Express has launched a new service for small businesses that provides a way to manage their finances from a single point, a service which they call American Express Business Blueprint. Built on the Kabbage platform, which American Express acquired in 2020, Business Blueprint features cash flow insights and a way to buy digital financial products, such as a line of credit, from American Express. [Forbes]

Mastercard, Binance to Launch Their Second Prepaid Crypto Card in Latin America

Credit card giant Mastercard has teamed up with the world’s largest crypto exchange to launch another prepaid crypto card in Latin America. On Monday, Binance announced the launch of the Binance Card in Brazil. The new card is issued by Dock, a payment institution regulated by Banco Central do Brasil, Brazil’s central bank. The new card will allow new and existing Binance users in the country with valid national IDs to make purchases and pay bills with crypto assets. The card is in a beta testing phase and will be widely available in the coming weeks. Brazil is the second country where Binance has launched the product, following Argentina in August. [Coin Telegraph]

Will Digital Wallets Kill Credit Cards?

Digital wallets, also called mobile wallets, are gaining popularity for their convenience and ease of use. Despite their growing popularity, digital wallets are still quite a way from cornering the payment market, in part because merchants are slow to adopt new payments processing technology. While mobile wallets probably won’t be the default anytime soon, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think we’ll do away with plastic credit cards in favor of digital versions sometime in the next few decades. [The Motley Fool]

The Capital One Venture X Business Card Will Launch Next Week

Last year, Capital One quietly launched a small-business rewards card available exclusively to clients with a Capital One Relationship Manager. The Capital One Spark Travel Elite card was noticeably similar to the issuer’s premium credit card, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, with parallel earning rates, travel benefits, and annual fees. Now the cards are even more aligned. The Capital One Spark Travel Elite card will rebrand next week as the new Capital One Venture X Business Card. The Venture X Business Card won’t be available to just anyone. As with its previous incarnation, you’ll need to apply for the card through your Capital One Relationship Manager. They’re like a liaison between business owners and the bank who help arrange accounts, loans, and other credit. [Business Insider]


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