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Credit Card Debt May Affect Your Health; Interest Rates Near All-Time High


Carrying Credit Card Debt Isn’t Just Bad for Your Budget. It May Also Affect Your Health.

The stress of carrying card debt through adulthood is linked to poor health, including joint pain or stiffness that interferes with daily activities, according to a recent study. Beyond the worries about repaying debt, one reason for poor health may be that people with high debt have little money left to pay for resources that protect their health. It found that people who carried consistently high levels of unsecured debt were 76% more likely to have pain that interfered with their daily life than people with no unsecured debt. People who carried debt over time reported worse physical health late in life. [The New York Times]

Credit Card Interest Rates Spike to Near All-Time High, Fed Data Shows

Credit cards are a flexible, widely accepted payment option allowing consumers to spread out large payments over time. But credit card interest rates have been rising steadily and recently surpassed 17% for only the second time ever, per Federal Reserve data. The average rate on all credit card accounts assessed interest was 17.13% in Q3 2021. That’s up from 16.3% in Q2 and 15.91% at the beginning of the year. The only other time credit card rates have been this high was in 2019, when interest rates spiked to 17.14%. [Fox Business]

Get Up to $15 Off at Amazon When Using Your Eligible Chase Credit Card

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Amazon currently has an offer that’s a great way to not only use your Chase points but to also save on your next Amazon purchase. Chase credit card holders targeted for this promotion can save 50% off their Amazon purchases, up to $15 in total savings when using Chase Ultimate Rewards points at Amazon between now and Dec. 31, 2021. You must have a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. This includes popular credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Freedom Unlimited. [CNN]

Gen Z Stokes Credit Card Growth in Spite of BNPL

What accounts for this growing reliance on credit cards when Gen Z has earned a reputation for being averse to credit cards and even, in some ways, frugal? The first is that Gen Z is simply growing older and that the oldest members of the generation, now 26, are reaching the acquisitive point of their lives. In short, they need stuff, and they need a way to pay for that stuff. Gen Zers are typically the children of Gen Xers, not Millennials. Gen Xers have been comfortable with credit, and were the last generation being courted by card companies while they were in college. [The Financial Brand]

Deal of the Month: Southwest Airlines Companion Pass

In the world of frequent flyer programs, there are few things as valuable as the Companion Pass from Southwest Airlines. This pass allows you to add a designated companion to any Southwest flight that you’re booked on, including award tickets. To earn the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass with credit cards, you need to earn 125,000 points from one or more Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards in a calendar year. [Money]

Capital One Announces New Premium Venture X Travel Credit Card

The Venture X, which will have an annual fee of $395, will open for applications starting Nov. 9. New card holders will be able to earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first six months after opening the account. And for a limited time, as part of the sign-up bonus, card holders will receive up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO. Other perks include $300 in annual statement credits for bookings made through the newly relaunched Capital One Travel portal, 10,000 bonus miles each year starting with the second year you have the card, up to $100 in credits for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership and complimentary cell phone insurance. The Venture X earns 2 miles for every dollar you spend on everything you buy, along with a total of 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel. [CNN]

AmEx Debuts Debit Card in War for Small Business Customers

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American Express unveiled its first-ever debit card as competition for small-business customers heats up. The card will be part of a new digital business checking account. The checking account is slated to come with a $300 cash bonus for new users of the account and an annual percentage yield of 1.1%. Starting next year, customers of the product will also be able to earn AmEx’s membership rewards points and redeem them for deposits into their accounts. [Bloomberg]

House Democrats Urge CFPB to Examine Buy Now/Pay Later

The rapid rise of the buy now/pay later sector drew congressional attention Tuesday, with lawmakers weighing the benefits and possible risks of the emerging payment method. Democrats were relatively skeptical of BNPL lenders. At a House hearing, they questioned whether the products put consumers at risk of falling behind on loan payments and urged regulators to examine the industry. [American Banker]

Mastercard Acquisitions Bolster Crypto Ambitions

In September, Mastercard acquired CipherTrace, and now it has announced a partnership with Bakkt, which will give Mastercard the ability to offer crypto custodial services. However, four challenges may delay issuer productization: First, issuing banks need to decide they want to offer crypto services. Second, even if offered independent of the core system, each issuer will need to provide customer access to the crypto assets through its online and/or mobile banking channel. Third, those crypto assets will ultimately need to be reflected in the customer’s account overall balance that sits in the core system. Lastly, the crypto assets will need to be linked to the issuers’ cards so the assets can be spent. [Payments Journal]

Considering a ‘Neobank’ or Fintech? The Lowdown on the Fees, Perks, and Long-Term Prospects of Challenger Banks

Many of the most popular fintech banking apps have marketed their services as democratizing finance, with stress-free signups, transparent pricing, and the ability to easily access money when needed. About 30% of Americans use some type of online-only banking, according to Plaid’s 2021 Fintech Report. About 67% of U.S. customers use digital-first and traditional banks’ online or mobile apps. In a comprehensive review of 50 fintechs, we found many had fees and pricing clearly listed on their websites, albeit often in hard-to-locate portions of its FAQ and legal disclosure sections. But other hidden fees were tucked away where only the savviest consumers could find them. [Fortune]

Buy Now, Pay Later Services Are Booming. Know the Risks Before You Sign Up

Nearly half of all U.S. consumers have made a purchase with a buy now, pay later option, according to a recent CreditKarma study. Among those, over a third have fallen behind on one or more payments. Buy now, pay later services grew 215% year-over-year within the first two months of 2021, an Adobe analysis suggests. Here’s what you need to know about buy now, pay later, and why you should take caution before using these alternative payment plans. [Next Advisor]

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GoHenry Launches Biodegradable Debit Cards for Kids

GoHenry, a debit card and financial education app designed for children ages 6-18, has announced the launch of its first fully biodegradable debit card made from plants that promises to decompose after use, not in your wallet. Unlike the traditional plastic debit cards that take over 400 years to decompose, GoHenry’s new biodegradable debit cards are made from a renewable material derived from field corn called polylactic acid and will break down in as little as six months when exposed to sunlight, soil, and the microorganisms found in soil. [The Fintech Times]

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