Tag: Cards

Major Data Breach On Travel Sites; Mastercard Looks Beyond Cards

Credit Card Info of Millions of Guests Leaked in Travel Site Data Breach

If you’ve traveled any time since 2013, it might be time to check your bank accounts. Three of the web’s biggest travel sites have leaked personal and financial data for millions of users, including payment card details. Prestige Software is a Spanish developer that owns reservation software called Cloud Hospitality. It’s designed to help automate hotel listings on websites like Hotels.com and Expedia.com for online booking. Security researchers from Website Planet found that Cloud Hospitality stored information from more than 10 million travelers on an unsecured database with no password protection. [Komando.com]

Mastercard’s Next CEO Sees Big World Beyond Cards After Latest Real-Time Payments Deal

Mastercard next chief executive sees a big opportunity beyond credit cards as the company pushes deeper into real-time payments that run independent of the traditional card rails. Michael Miebach said the company wants to have the ability to connect any payer to payees, regardless of whether the parties are using cards, bank accounts, mobile wallets or other forms of payments. [MarketWatch]

CA Unemployment: Why is Bank of America Draining EDD Bank Accounts?

California’s Employment Development Department is fighting rampant fraud. But in the process, many unemployed workers say their accounts are frozen and their money is suddenly gone. Bank of America has been draining money out of countless EDD accounts, leaving many workers bewildered and without money. [KABC]

Wells Fargo Seeks Bidders For Private-Label Credit Card Unit

Wells Fargo is seeking to sell its private-label credit card and point-of-sale financing unit as part of an ongoing strategic review of its businesses. The banking group has started reaching out to possible bidders, but still hasn’t made a definitive decision as to whether it will actually sell the unit, which specializes in store-branded credit cards. Selling the private-label credit card unit would be a business reversal for the financial services group. [PYMNTS]

Consumers Prefer Mobile Pay

Over 74% of Americans used their phone to order and pay for food and merchandise at least once a week, with nearly 48% using their phones for purchases several times a week or more. More than half of Americans (54.8%) used their phone for online retail purchases (i.e.: Amazon
AMZN
) and 9.3% used their phone for in-store purchase, such as “tap to pay” at checkout. But 55% of consumers still prefer using credit cards. [Mobile Payments Today]

Citi Sees Quick Results from True Name Cards for Trans, Nonbinary Consumers

When Citi last month announced that transgender customers could use their preferred name on their credit cards, the bank was unsure of what to expect. The response exceeded expectations, with more than 1,600 Citi customers requesting a name-change on their cards within the first few weeks of the program. To build on that momentum, Citi is putting marketing weight behind the initiative. [Payments Source]

Chase Launches New Bonus Offer Worth Up to 70,000 Miles on the United Explorer

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American Express Canada launches redesigned Aeroplan Cards to elevate the travel experience

Enhanced suite of American Express® Aeroplan®* Cards comes with rich welcome offers of up to 65,000 Aeroplan points for new Cardmembers, up to 3X Aeroplan points on eligible Air Canada purchases plus extra points on eligible everyday spending and access to a host of travel and lifestyle benefits

TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, American Express Canada is pleased to launch its newly redesigned suite of American Express Aeroplan Cards, with enhanced Air Canada travel benefits and exclusive American Express perks that provide even more value to Cardmembers.

American Express Canada launches redesigned Aeroplan Cards to elevate the travel experience (CNW Group/American Express Canada)

Designed with the avid traveller and Air Canada passenger in mind, the new American Express Aeroplan Cards offer unique value for the frequent flyer, business traveller or even the occasional vacationer. Offered in conjunction with Air Canada’s recently transformed Aeroplan program, the Cards’ rich travel rewards combined with accelerated points on everyday spending like dining and food delivery, enable Cardmembers to reap the benefits of the new program right from the start and allow them to earn points quickly for their future travel plans.

“Whether it is a weekend getaway or a dream vacation, travel has become a big part of so many people’s lives,” says Megan McKee, Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Products and Partnerships at American Express Canada. “Earning extra points when you use your Card on both Air Canada bookings and on everyday categories like take-out, food delivery, or hotel and car rental makes this suite of Cards the choice for now and for the future.”

Currently, new Cardmembers can take advantage of rich welcome offers of up to 65,000 bonus points to help them build up their points balance even faster. Select Cardmembers can also earn a $100 statement credit or an Air Canada bonus Buddy Pass after meeting the necessary spend requirements. Those who previously joined the waitlist are eligible to receive a special bonus of up to 10,000 Aeroplan points once approved – making them eligible for up to 75,000 Aeroplan points in total.

The Cards boast travel and lifestyle related benefits, including Air Canada travel benefits such as an eligible Free First Checked Bag, Maple Leaf Lounge Access, and Priority Airport Services like Priority Boarding. These extensive travel benefits are complemented by a range of Amex benefits to elevate the airport experience at Toronto Pearson Airport on select Cards, and offer access to entertainment, dining, wellness and retail events through American Express® Experiences including virtual events to enjoy from home and early access to tickets through Front Of The Line®. Existing AeroplanPlus Platinum and Reserve Cardmembers are also eligible for a special offer as a thank you for their continued Cardmembership to further elevate their first year with the new Card.

Three new American Express Aeroplan Cards are available to consumers and small business owners – the American Express Aeroplan Card, American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card, and the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card. American Express will continue to be the only Aeroplan-issuing partner to offer American Express Aeroplan Corporate

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Chase Airline and Hotel Cards Offering Up to 5x Points on Amazon and Groceries

If you have a Chase airline or hotel credit card, it’s time to check your bonus offers.

Chase has been adding limited-time bonuses to its credit cards all year. Now, it’s boosting rewards on Amazon and grocery purchases — just in time for the holidays. You could qualify for up to 5 points per $1 on those purchases if you have one of Chase’s co-branded airline or hotel credit cards.

These are targeted offers, so activation is required and some cardholders may not be eligible. To make sure you maximize your rewards this holiday season, here’s a list of eligible Chase cards and what you need to do to activate your Chase bonus offers.

Chase Amazon and grocery bonuses

Chase’s new Amazon and grocery bonuses will last from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020. You must activate by 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 31, 2020 to receive your bonus points. Once it’s activated, the bonus rate will apply to eligible purchases made during the offer period.

Exact offers vary depending on which Chase card you have. You’ll find the current Chase credit cards eligible for these bonuses below. But you may also be entitled if you hold certain discontinued Chase cards that are no longer taking new applications.

Chase’s airline cards can earn 5 points per $1 on Amazon and grocery purchases, up to a maximum of $1,500 in combined purchases per month. Eligible cards include:

The following Chase hotel cards are eligible to earn 5 points per $1 on Amazon purchases and 3 points per $1 on groceries, up to a maximum of $1,500 in combined purchases per month:

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase is eligible to earn 5 points per $1 on Amazon and grocery purchases, up to a maximum of $1,500 in combined purchases per month, and 10 points per $1 on up to $3,500 in purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

How to activate your Chase bonuses

Visit the Chase My Bonus page to see if you’re eligible and activate the offers. Just fill out the form with your last name, the last four digits of your Chase credit card number, and your ZIP code, and then click “Activate Now.”

The site will let you know if you qualify for a bonus offer. If you do, the offer will also be activated.

Keep in mind that you need to do this for each Chase card that you have. Let’s say you have a United credit card and a World of Hyatt credit card with Chase. You would need to fill out the form twice, once with the last four digits of the United card and once with the last four of the World of Hyatt card.

A fantastic holiday bonus offer

This latest bonus from Chase gives you an opportunity to earn much more back when shopping for gifts on Amazon and stocking up on groceries for those festive holiday meals. If one of your credit cards might qualify, use the Chase My

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Can I Have Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve Credit Cards?

Chase Sapphire cards are popular among travelers who are looking for lucrative rewards programs — so popular, in fact, that many Chase enthusiasts look into adding more than one Sapphire card to their wallets.

Known for high welcome bonuses and easy tools for redeeming rewards at 25% or 50% more value (when eligible), both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card stand out as some of the top travel cards, and certainly favorites among Chase credit cards in particular.

But unfortunately, it’s not always possible to sign up for both. Chase has strict eligibility requirements on who can open a new Chase travel card, be it the Sapphire Preferred or the Reserve. Most of the time, cardholders can’t have both at once; they have to choose one or the other.

There is one exception, which we dive into below. Here’s what you need to know about who can open a Chase Sapphire credit card — plus some alternatives you may want to check out.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

On Chase’s secure site

  • Rewards

    5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — worth up to $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase’s secure site

  • Rewards

    10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 3X points on travel worldwide (immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit), 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide, 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — worth up to $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    16.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Who can open a Chase Sapphire card?

Chase doesn’t allow you to be the primary account holder on both the Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards. So if you already have one Sapphire card, you can’t apply for the other. 

This eligibility rule is listed in the terms for Sapphire cards:

The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months. If you are an existing Sapphire customer and would like this product, please call the number on the back of your card to see if you are eligible for a product change. You will not receive the new cardmember bonus if you change products.

Normally, this is no big deal. When you signed up for

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These 2 Credit Cards Want to Give You $2,000 to Spend on Travel

Earning 180,000 credit card points has never been easier.

Between quarantines and heavy travel restrictions, 2020 has given many of us a severe case of cabin fever. Travel will be possible again, though unfortunately it might seem out of reach in terms of budget — especially if you’re one of many who lost income this year.

The good news is you could earn up to 180,000 credit card points, worth at least $2,000 in travel spending, with just two travel credit cards. Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card are currently offering limited-time sign-up bonuses that are bigger than ever before.

The bonus offers

Each of these credit cards has a limited-time welcome bonus on offer that’s worth at least $1,000 in travel spending.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is offering 80,000 points if you can spend $4,000 in the first three months, up from its usual 50,000-point bonus. As a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card holder, you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points through Chase’s travel portal for flights, hotel stays, rental cars, cruises, and tours at a rate of $.0125 per point, making this bonus worth $1,000. You can also transfer your points to a long list of airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 rate, and these high-value redemptions can help you get even more than $1,000 out of your sign-up bonus.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is currently offering its highest sign-up bonus ever, with the chance to earn a total of 100,000 bonus miles. You’ll earn the first 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 in the first three months, and the second 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $20,000 total in the first 12 months. Venture® miles are easy to redeem for travel because you can use them to “erase” any travel purchase you made in the last 90 days at a rate of $0.01 per point. This makes 100,000 Venture® miles worth $1,000.

There’s no published deadline for these limited-time offers, but some clues have suggested the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offer will expire in early November. If you think you can put either of these bonuses to good use, act fast.

How to qualify for the cards and earn both welcome bonuses

It’s important to make sure you have a good shot at qualifying for these cards before applying. Good credit — that is, a FICO® Score of at least 670 — will give you good odds at qualifying for most travel credit cards, although a score above 700 is ideal.

Submitting lots of credit card applications in a short period of time can damage your credit score, and some credit card issuers won’t approve you if you’ve applied for too many credit cards recently. However, assuming you haven’t been sending out multiple credit card applications in the past few months, you can apply for two cards at once. A couple new inquiries might cause a small, temporary dip in your credit score, but

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4 Cards to Earn Miles Toward that 2021 Vacation

You could save over $1,000 with just one of these cards.

After a year filled with lockdowns and financial stress, 2020 has most of us itching to fly away from it all — and do it on a budget.

Luckily, airlines and airports have implemented a number of measures to make air travel safer in the age of COVID-19. American Airlines, United, JetBlue, Lufthansa, British Airways, and Hawaiian recently announced plans to offer pre-flight COVID-19 tests, and Tampa International Airport recently became the first airport to offer COVID-19 testing to all passengers.

As you open up to the idea of flying again, it’s worth saving travel rewards that can help you cover the cost. Here are four of the best travel credit cards that can help you earn up to $1,000 or more in travel rewards. You can fast-track that lavish 2021 vacation and stay under budget.

For a big sign-up bonus and trip insurance: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is widely recognized as a great starter card for anyone who wants to accumulate travel rewards. Now, a temporarily increased sign-up bonus has sweetened the pot: You’ll get 80,000 points if you spend $4,000 in three months. This is worth at least $1,000 in travel spending, making it one of the most lucrative cards out there right now.

You’ll earn double points on travel and dining. The card’s $95 annual fee also gets you a long list of travel protections that include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, and baggage delay insurance.

For a versatile, everyday travel card: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

If you prefer a flat-rate card that earns big on all your spending, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a great choice. You’ll get 2 miles on all your purchases, regardless of spending category. This card has also temporarily increased its sign-up bonus. You’ll earn 100,000 bonus miles if you can spend $20,000 in the first year. Even if you can’t, you can still earn 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first three months.

The miles you earn with this card are extremely flexible. They aren’t worth quite as much as Chase Ultimate Rewards, but you can use Venture miles to “erase” any purchase that codes as travel at a rate of $0.01 per point. Travel can cover everything from airfare and hotels to your Airbnb, train ticket, or amusement park tickets. This makes your miles very easy to use, and the 100,000-point welcome bonus worth $1,000 in travel spending — which more than covers the $95 annual fee.

For airport lounge access and travel credits: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the older sibling of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This premium credit card is packed with perks and benefits that make travel cheaper, easier, and more luxurious. The sign-up bonus of 50,000 points if you spend $4,000 in three months is worth at least $750 in travel spending. You’ll also earn 3 points

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Best Hotel Credit Cards of April 2020

What Can You Expect From Hotel Credit Cards?

Rewards earning: About 83% of hotel credit cards earn at least 1.5 points per dollar on hotel purchases.

Rewards redemption: You can redeem hotel rewards flexibly with about 72% of hotel credit cards, either with cash back or through a program that offers redemption or transfer options. Others earn rewards that can be redeemed with multiple partners, such as with a hotel group’s brands.

Sign-up bonus value: You can earn a sign-up bonus worth at least $500 with about 52% of hotel credit cards. All but one card offer a sign-up bonus of at least $100.

Annual fee: You’ll pay an annual fee with 66% of hotel cards, but about 17% of them waive the annual fee the first year.

APR: A minimum APR of 15% to 18.99% is typical for hotel credit cards, as 79% have a minimum APR within this range.

Benefits: Expect excellent benefits from about 59% of hotel credit cards, with perks such as a free hotel stay, hotel status or a travel credit.

How Do Hotel Credit Cards Work?

As you spend with a hotel card, you earn points that can be redeemed for free award nights and other rewards with the hotel or its partners. Most co-branded hotel cards award the most points for spending with the affiliated hotel brand, while general travel cards usually offer a flat rate on all purchases or a higher rate for specific categories, such as travel or dining.

Free award nights are typically the greatest appeal of hotel credit cards, but that’s not all they have to offer. Some hotel cards carry automatic hotel loyalty status, which may provide perks such as late checkout, free room upgrades, complimentary breakfast and guaranteed room availability.

Types of hotel credit cards

Co-branded: A hotel chain may partner with a credit card company to offer a co-branded card that earns the most points through spending at one of the chain’s properties. Points must be redeemed with the hotel brand, although many general travel rewards programs and some hotel loyalty programs allow point transfers to airlines or other partners.

Use of a co-branded hotel card is an excellent way to earn points for a hotel’s loyalty program, as cardholders often earn rewards at a higher rate. Depending on the card, new users may start at the lowest membership level or receive an advanced status level upon sign-up.

The following are some of the most popular co-branded hotel cards:

General travel: General travel cards have their own rewards programs and are not attached to specific hotel brands. They may award travel spending at an elevated rate compared with everyday spending or offer a flat earning rate on all purchases. Rewards can be redeemed for statement credits on travel purchases or for trips booked through the issuer’s travel portal, or they can be transferred to travel partners. Other redemption options, such as cash back, gift cards or merchandise, may be available.

The following are some of the

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9 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards for March 2020

Redeeming your travel rewards depends on the card company and the type of card you have.

Here are the ways that you can cash in your rewards:

Fixed-rate redemptions

You get a set value for your points and can apply them towards any travel purchase. If you have a card that gets you $0.01 per point on travel redemptions, then 30,000 points could pay for $300 in travel expenses. These redemptions are fast and easy, and you can always count on getting a consistent value for your points.

Booking award airline tickets and hotel stays with points

You book airfare or a hotel stay and pay the points price instead of the cash price. In some cases, points prices can offer a much better value than cash prices, like when a $1,000 business-class ticket only costs 30,000 points, getting you well over $0.03 per point.

You can book travel with points when you have a credit card with a specific airline or hotel. These are also an option when you have a card that lets you transfer your points to multiple airline and hotel transfer partners.

Both

It’s getting more common for banks to offer points you can either redeem at a fixed rate or transfer to travel partners for award bookings. In fact, American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Citi all offer travel cards that include both redemption options.

Having multiple ways to redeem your points can help you book the travel you want and get the most value in the process, so several of our top travel cards are the ones that offer this.

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Best Travel Credit Cards of March 2020

What You Can Expect From Travel Credit Cards

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices you have, you can relax. We’ve made it easy for you to decide. Everything you need to know about travel credit cards is right here.

Rewards earning: About 85% of travel credit cards earn at least two points or miles per dollar on travel purchases. Some programs offer a variety of categories that have different rewards values. Since each travel rewards card has its own unique rewards program, you’ll need to read the disclosure statements carefully.

Rewards redemption: Your options will differ based on the card you have, but almost half of travel rewards credit cards have redemption options that are flexible. Some cards offer cash back or a statement credit. Other programs offer multiple redemption or transfer options. Nearly all others earn rewards that can be redeemed with multiple partners, such as within an airline alliance or a hotel group.

Sign-up bonus value: About 47% of travel cards have a sign-up bonus worth $500 or more. For example, you might have to spend $3,000 within three months of opening your account to earn 60,000 miles.

Annual fee: Most travel rewards credit cards charge an annual fee. But 30% don’t have one, so you have options if you’d prefer to avoid this fee. About 20% of travel cards have an annual fee greater than $100. But cards that waive the annual fee the first year or charge a fee of up to $100 are the most common.

APR: Travel rewards cards with a minimum APR of 14.99% or lower are rare, with only two cards offering that rate this month. Nearly all other travel rewards cards have a minimum APR that falls between 15% and 18.99%.

Benefits: Finding a travel credit card with valuable benefits should be relatively easy, as 68% of these cards offer top-level benefits. Expect benefits such as travel credits, free hotel nights, priority boarding, free checked bags, airport lounge access and hotel status.

If you’re interested in learning how we rank credit cards, you can take a peek at our U.S. News methodology for ranking the best credit cards.

U.S. News Survey: These Common Travel Credit Card Mistakes Could Lead to Missed Savings

About a third of respondents plan to spend $500 or less per person on vacation expenses for their next trip. Nearly three-quarters of respondents don’t plan to carry a credit card balance to pay off their vacation.

But more than 61% of respondents don’t have a travel credit card at all, missing out on travel discounts and rewards. Survey respondents who do use travel rewards credit cards, report earnings between $351 and $1,750 in travel rewards last year.

And often, respondents either don’t shop around for travel savings or spend two hours or less on research for travel savings.

Almost half of screened respondents who are taking a vacation are planning a road trip.

Of the respondents who intend to take a vacation in the next

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