Platinum Value

“Platinum” credit cards are a dime a dozen these days, even offered to less creditworthy consumers with low credit limits. In an effort to put the luster back into “Platinum” some issuers are now adding other descriptors to their “Platinum” cards such as “Double Platinum,”, “Ultimate Platinum,” and “Platinum Plus.” Citibank and MBNA have moved…

MGM Mirage VISA

Casinos are dealing more cards these days, especially credit cards. MGM MIRAGE plans to deal out its new VISA card next month, joining the recently launched “Trump Rewards VISA” and the “Caesars Entertainment MasterCard” launched late last year. Under the “MGM Mirage VISA” program to roll-out next month, cardholders earn rewards that can be used…

DNC Anniversary

Since its launch one year ago the “National Do Not Call Registry” has registered about 62 million phone numbers in the USA. The FTC said last week that since October 2003, consumers submitted 428,764 complaints. In sorting the complaint data, the FTC found that there were more than 130,000 company names against which complaints were…

Bankruptcy Factor

While personal bankruptcies are running about 3% lower than last year, there is still a significant impact on the card industry. In March, bankruptcies topped 150,000, a factor noted in MBNA’s charge-off figures for May. MBNA reported last week that its charge-off rate edged up by 18 basis points in May due to the March…

Late Payers

Based on total dollars past-due, credit card delinquency declined in the first three months of this year, compared to the level set in the previous quarter, but remains above last year’s ratio and well above historical figures. The decline is significant due to the “denominator effect” in the first quarter, wherein consumers typically pay-off their…

May Phishing

Phishers are still reeling in suckers using spoofed e-mails and fraudulent Web sites as bait, but they appear to running out of line. The number of phishing attacks on the financial services sector leveled off in May. However, phishers are getting more sophisticated as more than 95% of the attacks rely on the use of…

Rate Changes

Most cardholders across America will see higher credit card interest rates within the next several weeks thanks to today’s Federal Reserve action which will likely boost the prime rate to 4.25%. Four of the nation’s top ten issuers use the last business day of the month, and one issuer uses the first day of the…

New Environment

Tomorrow will mark a turning point in credit card pricing if the Feds decide to bump up short-term interest rates by 25 bps (0.25%) or 50 bps (0.50%). It is likely there will be two rate increases before the fall election followed by three or four monthly increases in the first half of 2005. After…

Rate Hikes

If the Feds raise short-term interest rates by 25 basis points this week and continue with subsequent hikes, then credit cards interest rates are likely to rise 19 basis points within two months, and perhaps increase by 96 basis points within nine months, based on historical patterns. In April 1994, the prime rate moved to…

Diners Club Plus

Diners Club, which is in the process of migrating to the MasterCard network in the USA by year’s end, is adding a line of credit to its personal card programs. As an incentive, the new “Club Plus Account” will award two bonus points for every $1 transferred from the charge card balance to the line…