Financial News

Latest News in Personal Finance July 2019

EPF Last Update: May 30, 2020

Over the last few weeks, new developments have occurred in the world of personal finance. We consolidated the most important ones to help keep you up-to-date.

Citibank is Eliminating Several of Their Credit Card Perks

We’ll start with Citibank’s Price Rewind feature. It used to offer credit cards users a partial refund when the price for an online purchase declines. And while different policy changes affect different cards, the main ones in play are the Citi Prestige Card, Citi Double Cash Card, Citi Premier Card and its American Airlines partnership cards. Citibank cited costs as the main issue. Without eliminating certain features, the company said, it would have to increase the cost of other credit card services. As well, the company said the perks that are being eliminated are only used sparingly by customers, so their popularity didn’t warrant a continuation.

Other changes include:

  • Eliminating 90-day return protection.
  • Eliminating trip delay protection.
  • Eliminating baggage delay protection.
  • Eliminating damage and threat purchase protection.

Mid-Flight Credit Card Offers aren’t All They are Cracked up to be

The next time you’re in the sky, you may have ‘special’ credit card offers available at your fingertips. But, don’t let the sales pitch fool you. In-flight offers usually have worse terms than what’s available in the marketplace. And even though a boat-load of reward points may sound appealing, the amount is usually in-line with many other promotions.

Instead of signing up then and there, it’s best to take a pamphlet and research the deal on your own. Despite what they may say, deals don’t end when your flight lands. Remember, you have plenty of time to make the decision.

Another important issue is the security of your information over public Wi-Fi. During your application, you have to input a lot of sensitive information. Thus, it’s better to wait until you have a secure connection before taking the plunge.

Hackers are Committing Credit Card Fraud $1.99 at a Time

In an attempt to maintain a low profile, hackers now use small billing amounts to keep credit card charges undetected. It’s a growing trend where criminals purchase subscriptions from reputable business, then bill credit cards even when the customer cancels the service. And because companies receive updated credit card information every time your card is lost or stolen, the charges keep coming until you eventually cancel your card.

The issue is front and center because criminals realize that most card issuers don’t focus on charges of less than $50. Banking algorithms are designed to monitor large purchases and hackers are using this to their advantage. Instead of making a big splash, criminals are now filling up their buckets one drop at a time.

Bank Of America Introduces a New Digital Debit Card

If your debit card ends up lost or stolen, you usually have to wait seven days to receive a replacement. But, with Bank of America’s new digital card feature, you can receive an immediate replacement through its mobile app.

The service allows you to make mobile payments in-store and online as well as access all of Bank of America’s card-free ATMs.

Only 40% of Consumers Own Rewards Debit Cards

A study by Mercator Advisory Group found that only 40% of consumers have a debit card that offers rewards. This figure is down from 46% in 2014.

The study also found that millennials still use rewards debit cards and that financial institutions are aggressively courting their business. Moreover, 46% of debit rewards holders are between the ages of 18 and 34, with the majority of them likely to earn less than $50,000 a year. Conversely, 61% of consumers who don’t use debit rewards cards are over the age of 41 with the majority of them earning over $100,000 a year.

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