Credit Cards in the News: Dec. 5-11, 2015

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Credit card news pops up every week and it’s not always easy to keep track of each story, especially all the stories about credit card fraud. That’s why we provide you with a summary of the top stories on so you can read what matters the most and not have to worry about all the other “fluff” news. Here are the highlights for December 5-11.  

Credit Card Switch Chips Away at Costco’s Earnings

Earlier this year Costco ended a 16-year exclusive relationship with American Express for co-branded cards. Costco switched its U.S. credit card contract to Citigroup Inc. and Visa Inc. Some reporters say that the switch has been chipping away at Costco’s profits, as it is no longer receiving a bounty for each new Amex cardholder it signs up. Details of the new Citigroup and Visa deal are confidential, but until they go through, Costco is expecting quarterly earnings to continue to drop for the next two fiscal quarters. Read more…

Credit Card Rates Will Likely Rise this Winter

With the likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in the near future, there is a strong possibility that the rate hike could affect credit card interest rates. The “variable” APR that you see in credit card terms and conditions is directly tied to the prime rate set by the Feds, which has hovered around 0% for nearly a decade. Many Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders have already received notice of changing rates including increased balance transfer fees and cash advance APRs. Read more…

Americans Continue to Pile on Credit Card Debt

A recent article in Time Magazine indicates that the average indebted household carries a revolving balance of $15,355. Furthermore, household debt has risen 15% faster than household income over the past 12 years. The main reason cited for the debt increase is that the price of necessities like healthcare and groceries has steadily outpaced a rise in income. Another possible problem is denial; credit card debt is a slippery slope and carries a greater stigma than having a mortgage or auto loan. Read more…

Wal-Mart Launches Payment System Via Mobile App

Wal-Mart has announced they will begin to allow shoppers to pay in stores with their smartphone, using the company’s mobile app. As more than 140 million Americans shop at Wal-Mart weekly, this move could be a game changer for competitors like Apple Pay and the Merchant Customer Exchange. The service became available this past Thursday at a few stores near Wal-Mart’s headquarters, and will be available nationwide in the first half of 2016. Read more…

Credit Cards Breached at Texas-based Restaurant Chain

The Dallas-based restaurant chain, Elephant Bar, has recently notified customers of a possible breach involving malicious software installed on it payment processing systems. The software was designed to capture card payment information. Customers may be affected if they used their credit or debit cards at the restaurant chain from August 12 through November 24. Read more…

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