"Do Not Call"

Telephones in the USA will be getting quieter this year as new Federal Trade Commission “Telemarketing Sales Rules” take effect on March 31st. However, new rules on Caller-ID and the new “do not call” registry will not go into effect until seven months after Congress approves funding for the program. The new rules include provisions…

Shell MasterCard

Citibank has taken over the “Shell MasterCard” program and is gassing-up up the rebate feature. The new “Shell MasterCard from Citi” is doubling the card’s regular 5% rebate on Shell gas purchases as part of an introductory program for those that apply for the new card by March 31st. New cardholders will receive a 10%…

Super Gas Card

Chase has launched a high octane credit card that offers rebates on all gasoline purchases at any gas station, plus a smaller rebate on all other purchases. The new “Chase Freedom Card” offers an automatic 3% rebate on all gasoline purchases, regardless of the brand, and a 1% rebate on all other purchases. For a…

MBNA Change

Cardholders have successfully pressured the second largest issuer in the USA to change its ways. Earlier this month, MBNA sent out cardholder statements which deleted the “New Balance Total” from the tear-off payment coupon. MBNA cardholders who pay-off their total balance each month were forced to look elsewhere on the statement to determine the correct…

ID Theft

The incidence of identity theft in the USA is troubling and growing. New data from the Federal Trade Commission show that ID theft makes up 43% of all consumer fraud complaints. The FTC says fraud complaints filed in 2002 hit 380,000 compared to 220,000 in 2001. The dollar loss consumers attributed to the reported fraud…

CreditLess Cards

Regulators are going after credit card programs offered to credit challenged consumers that end up producing little, if any, available credit. This week the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has forced First National Bank in Brookings, South Dakota, to pay $6 million in restitution to credit card customers harmed by its marketing practices.…

Little Cards

The payment card business is shrinking! Bank of America announced this week it is phasing in a mini card version of its “VISA Check Card.” Last October, BofA introduced the mini credit card to its credit card customers. The BofA mini card is about half the size of a regular “Check Card,” and is designed…

VISA Fans

As the nation gets cranked for this week’s Super Bowl XXXVII, VISA has named this season’s crop of extreme football fans. Among fans being recognized this year for the VISA Hall of Fans is Oakland Raiders fan Charles “Darth Raider” Ybarra and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan Tim Young. Ybarra, who dresses as Darth Vader, leads…

Debit Battle

The National Retail Federation, Food Marketing Institute, International Mass Retailers Association have teamed to issue an appeal to consumers to stop using debit cards like credit cards. The retailers say consumers should be careful when they use debit cards so that they don’t get “fooled” into making a choice that ends up adding, what is,…

More Miles – Less Seats?

Bankrupt United Airlines has launched a “More Miles” program offering “United Mileage Plus VISA” cardholders double miles for all purchases at restaurants and home-improvement stores. While struggling airlines shove miles at consumers, trying to redeem them for free seats can still be a challenge. For example, United sets aside a maximum of four free business…