card balance increases; How to get 6% back at Walmart and Amazon

Credit card balances are up 15%, the highest annual jump in over 20 years, as Americans delve deeper

In an economy that has produced the highest rate of inflation since the early 1980s, Americans are struggling to keep up with daily spending. More consumers are now relying on credit cards to make ends meet, which helped push total credit card debt to $930 billion in the third quarter, just below the all-time record. Credit card balances rose more than 15% year over year, the largest annual jump in more than 20 years. [CNBC]

This hot new card earns up to 6% back at Walmart

The new US Bank Shopper Cash Rewards Card is a unique card that offers up to 6% cashback on up to $1,500 each quarter on combined purchases at two major retailers. Which retailers? That’s the trick; You can choose where to earn bonus rewards from a list that includes a ton of big names including Walmart, Target, Amazon and Best Buy. And to top it off, each quarter you can select new retailers or keep your existing ones. This allows you to easily adapt your bonus categories to your spending habits. [The Motley Fool]

Some retail store credit cards now carry more than 30% APR

There has long been a threshold that few private label credit card issuers have ready to beat: the 30% APR. However, amid a rapid succession of blockbuster rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, those limits in the sand are quickly being exceeded. At least half a dozen major retail credit cards — including those from Kroger, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Shell, Exxon Mobil and Wayfair — have recently increased their maximum APR to more than 30%. [CNN]

These credit cards recently started offering 10% cashback on Uber and Uber Eats

Four Capital One credit cards now have a rewards bonus that’s ideal for those who love to eat out or always need a ride: unlimited 10% cashback on Uber and Uber Eats purchases. The Capital One Savor Rewards, Capital One SavorOne Rewards, Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students and Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students cards have recently started offering the 10% cashback rate. Both existing and new cardholders can benefit from this new bonus category, which is available until November 14, 2024. [Money]

Square is partnering with AmEx to offer a credit card for Square merchants

Merchants in the United States that use Square’s point-of-sale technology and also accept American Express will receive a credit card from Square that will run on the AmEx network in the coming months. The so-called Square Credit Card is said to be the first credit card that the Block unit offers to its network of sellers. The card, issued by Celtic Bank, is powered by technology from i2c Inc., a card issuance platform for both physical and virtual payment cards. [Digital Transactions]

How Canada’s new credit card surcharge will affect consumers and businesses

Canada has some of the highest interbank fees in the world. Interchange fees are the fees companies pay each time their customers pay by credit card. The average interbank fee in Canada is around 1.5% of transaction value, with fees typically ranging from 1% to 2.5%. Until last month, credit card networks didn’t allow companies to pass these fees on to customers. That all changed with the recent settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging that certain banks and credit card networks conspired to impose high interchange fees and prevent companies from surcharging or refusing expensive cards. In response to the lawsuit, Visa and Mastercard agreed to remove their no-surcharge rule, leaving the companies free to pass on the interchange fee to their customers. [The Conversation]

Despite security concerns, most bank customers use an app

If “going to the bank” isn’t on your list of errands these days, you’re not alone: ​​a new NerdWallet survey shows nearly three-quarters of banking customers (72%) use a mobile banking app, and 41% use more than a. More than 3 in 5 mobile banking app users (62%) say they do most of their regular banking through a mobile app, and 41% say they don’t typically need to use a bank branch to bank. More than 2 in 5 bank customers who don’t use mobile banking apps (42%) say it’s because they don’t trust the security of these apps. Similarly, almost half of mobile banking app users (46%) are concerned that their accounts could be hacked. [NerdWallet]

The Disturbing Truth About Buy Now, Pay Later.

BNPL offers a convenient and accessible way to defer the full cost of the things you buy. The problem is that it can create the illusion that you have room in your budget for things you really can’t afford. Most BNPL services do not report on-time payments, meaning your responsible use of BNPL loans will not appear on your credit report or help your score. But your credit score can suffer if you miss payments, just like with a credit card. And when that happens, BNPL late fees are usually much higher. From the start, BNPL providers have targeted college students, graduate students and other young adults. It is the demographic that has the least established credit history, is least financially literate, and is most wary of traditional financial institutions. [GO Banking Rates]

Mastercard forecasts 15% growth in Black Friday spending

Mastercard offers a sunny forecast for Black Friday, with the SpendingPulse report forecasting 15 percent growth in retail sales the day after Thanksgiving. The report predicts trends such as robust indoor shopping, driven by the “post-pandemic return of doorbusters, window displays and brick-and-mortar collaborations,” all leading to an 18% increase in in-store retail sales. Additionally, the report says department store sales will increase more than 25% year over year as consumers benefit from deals and the ability to get all their gifts in one place. [PYMNTS]

The FTX bankruptcy offers a peek behind the crypto dark curtain

The bankruptcy of FTX Trading and other cryptocurrency companies will give the legal system, like Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, a behind-the-scenes peek into a private, opaque, and largely unregulated world. Dorothy found the man behind the magician. What the courts will find is anyone’s guess, according to court observers. In their quest to understand what has been going on behind the scenes at FTX, judges and attorneys will grapple with new technology and unregulated issues, and present the opportunity to set new precedent or create new case law. [Fox Business]

The cost of going cashless

But the main objection to a cashless system is who it excludes. While cash allows anyone, regardless of age, credit history, immigration status, or income, to pay for goods or services directly rather than through an intermediary, credit cards generally require a bank account. Not everyone has one. And even those who do don’t necessarily want to increase their credit card debt. Regardless of the choice, teenagers and those earning less than $30,000 a year are more likely to use cash. This also applies disproportionately to minorities. In response to these differences, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York City and the state of New Jersey have passed laws prohibiting most merchants from accepting cash. But that’s a tiny fraction of the country. [The New York Times]

TransUnion confirms recent data breach with Attorney General’s Office

On November 7, 2022, TransUnion filed a data breach complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General after information held by the company was exposed to unauthorized access. According to TransUnion, the breach resulted in their names, social security numbers, financial account numbers, and driver’s license numbers being compromised. Recently, TransUnion sent out data breach letters to all affected parties, informing them of the incident and what they can do to protect themselves from identity theft and other scams. While the total number of people affected by the TransUnion data breach is unknown at this time, the company has stated that it has “200 million files profiling nearly every credit-active consumer in the United States.” [JD Supra]

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