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Cryptocurrency Is Coming to Your Credit Cards
Cryptocurrencies are a volatile investment today, but card companies including Visa and Mastercard are betting crypto will one day be used routinely for everyday purchases from food to clothes to plane tickets, and they don’t want to be left behind when that happens. Consumers now can make payments with cryptocurrencies linked to Visa and Mastercard cards provided mainly by fintech companies, but it’s a niche market. And transactions generally depend on third parties converting the crypto to local currencies. Visa and Mastercard say they are working on ways to handle the mechanics of crypto payments themselves. These efforts, if they succeed, would mark a major turning point, the first time that the decades-old networks would enable settling payments in assets beyond what most consider mainstream currencies. [The Wall Street Journal]
Consumers can get a $200 Amazon gift card by being approved for this card.
This Credit Card Will Give You a $200 Amazon Gift Card But Not for Long
Though Prime Day has passed, you can still take advantage of savings offered by the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. This credit card is now offering a $200 Amazon gift card instantly when you are approved for the account, but only through July 29. If you spend $300 on Amazon purchases, you can apply the $200 gift card at checkout, bringing your balance down to $100. You’ll then earn 5% cash back on the remainder, which means you earn $5 in rewards to be used for a future purchase, yielding a net purchase price of $95. [CNet]
Americans Are Spending Less on Their Credit Cards
Americans dialed back spending on their credit cards in June, pointing to another weak month of US retail sales, according to two major lenders. Barclays economists said their internal credit-card numbers suggest that retail sales may have dropped 0.4% last month, which would be a second straight decline. “Recent data suggest that the US consumer might be starting to pull back on spending,” they wrote in a research note. That has “led us to question if a sharper slowdown in consumer spending is around the corner.” [Bloomberg]
Bank of America is Fined $225 Million for Botching Pandemic Benefits
Regulators are fining Bank of America $225 million for bungling the distribution of unemployment benefits amid the pandemic, and are ordering the bank to compensate more than 100,000 people in a dozen states as a result. Hired by 12 states to administer the jobless aid, the bank “failed these prepaid cardholders by denying them access to their mandated unemployment funds,” while leaving them without a way to fix the situation. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ordered the nation’s second-largest bank to pay $125 million and compensate those hurt by unfair and deceptive practices related to a prepaid card program. The CFPB also fined Bank of America an additional $100 million, accusing it of “botching the disbursement of state unemployment benefits at the height of the pandemic.” [CBS News]
This is How Much Credit Card Late Fees Cost Customers per Year
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be looking more closely at the penalty fees charged to consumers. A new report from the CFPB shows that credit card penalty fees are costing consumers $12 billion each year. But now the CFPB will begin looking into what it calls “excessive late fees.” The CFPB asked for information on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ 2010 immunity provision for “excessive late fees” that allows credit card companies to escape enforcement scrutiny. The CFPB is trying to determine if late payment fees are “reasonable and proportional.” It’s also looking for information regarding card issuers’ revenue and expenses, the deterrent result of these fees and how they add to the credit card companies’ profitability. [Fox Business]
Debit Cards for Kids: Teaching Tool or Too Much Too Soon?
The hunt for pint-size plastic-holders is on. About one-fifth of kids ages 13 to 17 have a credit card, and roughly double that carry debit cards, according to Next Gen Personal Finance. But many companies now market cards to kids still in elementary school. Greenlight has no age minimum; technically a newborn could hold one in its tiny clutches. There’s also BusyKid, marketed to babes as young as 5, and GoHenry for children ages 6 and up. All offer a debit-card-and-app combo, presumably to teach little ones financial independence and literacy but also how to, well, spend. [New York Post]
Capital One Cardholders Can Get Free Access to Over 100 Museums for 6 Months
Capital One is giving cardholders free access to over 100 museums for six months through The Cultivist, a global arts membership-based club. Cardholders can score an Enthusiast level membership as a credit card perk, which carries a value of $240. This subscription-based membership gives the cardholder plus three guests free admission to participating museums. Cardholders with Capital One credit cards that earn rewards can take advantage of this benefit. [The Motley Fool]
American Express Updates Blue Cash Everyday Card
Consumers with the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express can take advantage of higher cash back rates at eligible gas stations and online retailers. The card now earns 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on U.S. online retail spending on up to $6,000 in each category each year. Previously, cardholders could earn 2% and 1% back in those categories, respectively. The highly rated card still comes with no annual fee and also now offers a $15 monthly statement credit for purchases with meal kit company Home Chef and a $7 monthly statement credit for consumers with an eligible subscription to the Disney Bundle, a streaming subscription that includes Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. [U.S. News and World Report]
Melio to Integrate Payments Platform with Capital One Business
Melio, a U.S.-Israeli startup that offers payment tools for small businesses, said it entered into a strategic partnership to integrate its accounts payable platform with Capital One Business. The agreement will enable Capital One small business cardholders to pay their vendors with a card, even if they do not accept credit cards, directly from their Capital One Business account. [Reuters]