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This Week In Credit Card News: Save $15 At Amazon; Don’t Toss Prepaid Cards When They’re Depleted

Get $15 Off At Amazon When Using Your Eligible Chase Credit Card

There are many Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, and while those points are typically best used for travel opportunities, you can also redeem them at Amazon. Targeted Chase credit card holders can save $15 on a purchase of $50 or more when using Chase Ultimate Rewards points at Amazon from now through October 31. And the best part of all is that you only have to apply 1 point for the discount to apply. [CNN]

Don’t Throw Out Prepaid Debit Cards When They’re Done

If you were gifted a prepaid debit card at any point this year you may want to consider saving the card even when its balance is spent. If you end up getting a refund or rebate for your purchase, it may go directly onto the card before you have a chance to ask the merchant to process things otherwise. If the card is gone, so is your refund. You can also use the empty card as a dummy card for signing up for free trials. Lots of free trials automatically kick in with a monthly or annual charge once your trial is over. [Lifehacker]

Interest Rates Are Low, But Loans Are Harder To Get. Here’s Why.

The economic crisis caused by the pandemic has driven interest rates to rock-bottom levels, meaning there has hardly been a better time to borrow. But with tens of millions of people out of work and coronavirus infections surging in many parts of the country, qualifying for a loan has become more trying, even for well-positioned borrowers. Lenders that have set aside billions of dollars for future defaults have also tightened their standards, often requiring higher credit scores, heftier down payments and more documentation. [The New York Times]

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Consumers, Flush With Stimulus Money, Shun Credit Card Debt

When unemployment soared this spring at the start of coronavirus lockdowns, credit card debt and delinquencies were widely expected to surge as struggling households borrowed more to make ends meet. Instead, the opposite happened. Credit card debt in the U.S. and other advanced economies has fallen. Fewer people are late on their credit card payments. Consumer demand for new borrowing—through credit cards, personal loans and even pawnshops—is down sharply. [The Wall Street Journal]

Citi’s New Credit Card Perk Gives Amazon Edge In Winning Big Orders

Citigroup C plans to let credit card customers finance big purchases on Amazon.com AMZN  over longer periods of time—-a deal that may spur sales at the e-commerce giant while boosting the bank’s interest-bearing balances. Cardholders who’ve shopped on Amazon in the past 12 months can choose to pay off transactions of at least $100 on a longer schedule and at a lower annual percentage rate. It’s meant to give borrowers more options. For Amazon, it’s a way to increase so-called basket size, making sales more profitable. It may also give the retailer another edge on competitors. [Bloomberg]

Banking Regulator Fines Capital One $80 Million Over 2019 Hack

A top banking regulator has fined Capital One Financial Corp. COF $80 million over a 2019 hack that compromised the personal information of about 106 million card customers and applicants. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said the bank failed “to establish effective risk assessment processes” before transferring information-technology operations to the public cloud and “to correct the deficiencies in a timely manner.” [The Wall Street Journal]

Credit Card Data From JPMorgan Chase Shows The Economic Recovery May Be Stalling

Consumer spending data from JPMorgan indicates that the economic recovery has been stuck in neutral since mid-June, mirroring data of weekly jobless claims and hours worked by service sector employees. The chart, which measures use of select Chase credit and debit cards, showed that spending has been roughly 10% or more below its 2019 levels for over a month after rising sharply from its low point in late-March and early April. [CNBC]

Starbucks Mobile Orders Make Up Record 22% Of Transactions As Q3 Sales Sink 40%

More people than ever are buying Starbucks food and drink with their phone. The company said mobile orders reached a record 22% of transactions in its third fiscal quarter. Delivery orders also tripled from the previous quarter. Global same-store sales sunk 40% in Q3. To help increase sales, Starbucks is speeding up plans to roll out a new store concept called Pickup designed for customers who order ahead with the app. [GeekWire]

Why 1% Could Be the Magic Number for Your Credit Score

In general, using as little of your credit card limits as possible is better for your score. So logic would suggest that paying off your credit cards early so that a zero balance is reported to the credit bureaus would produce the highest scores, right? Turns out, having 1% of your credit limits in use may help your credit score even more than showing 0% usage. Counterintuitive as it is, that’s how credit scoring works. [The Street]

Coronavirus Leads To More Use Of Contactless Credit Cards And Mobile Payments Despite Cost And Security Concerns

With consumers worried about touching surfaces during the coronavirus pandemic, the use of mobile payments and contactless credit or debit cards has significantly increased in the past few months, according to research released today by the National Retail Federation and Forrester. The study found 67% of retailers surveyed now accept some form of no-touch payment. That includes 58% that accept contactless cards that can be waved past a card reader or tapped on the reader, up from 40% last year, and 56% that take digital wallet payments on mobile phones, up from 44%. [National Retail Federation]

Ford, Visa Team Up For New Credit Card With Rewards That Lead To Car Discounts

Ford is expanding its customer loyalty program by introducing the FordPass Rewards Visa Card in collaboration with First National Bank of Omaha and Visa. Applications are now being accepted for the card that offers everyday special financing, reduced cost of ownership via Points redeemable toward vehicle sales and service at Ford dealerships, member-exclusive benefits and Ford-focused card customization options. [Press & Guide]

Mobile Bank Current Launches A Points Reward Program For Debit Card Users

Amid a crowded market of mobile banking services, which will soon also include Google GOOGL , U.S. challenger bank Current is launching a new program that will offer points-based rewards to its checking account customers. The program will allow Current members to earn up to 15x points on everyday debit card purchases at over 14,000 merchants, including national retailers like Subway, Rite Aid RAD , True Value, Cold Stone Creamery and others. [Tech Crunch]

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