Filed under: Credit Cards

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Credit card rates at record highs near 15%

Interest rates are now hovering near record highs, at an average rate of 14.72 percent. And if your credit is bad enough, you could even end up with a rate as high as 59.9 percent APR. Get the full story »

MasterCard 4Q net jumps 41%

MasterCard Inc.’s fourth-quarter profit soared 41 percent as cardholders ratcheted up spending at a record pace and the company processed more payments, spurring growth in revenue. Get the full story »

Execs position former ShoreBank for growth

William Farrow, 55, remembers trying to scrape together enough money to attend graduate school.

A product of Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, Farrow had graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island in 1977, but got nowhere in obtaining a student loan from a couple of  banks. But when he visited a branch of Northern Trust Corp., the Chicago-based bank lent him $1,500. The son of two teachers was on his way to a master’s in management from Northwestern University in 1979. Get the full story »

American Express revenue up 13% in 4Q

American Express Co. said fourth-quarter revenue grew 13 percent from a year earlier, as consumer spending increased and the company earned more from fees.

The credit card lender and payment network Monday reported $7.3 billion of quarterly revenue net of interest expense, up from $6.5 billion a year earlier. Get the full story »

Top court backs JPMorgan Chase fee hikes

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that JPMorgan Chase & Co under an old federal regulation did not have to provide written notice before raising credit card interest rates to account holders who defaulted on a payment. Get the full story »

American Express to cut 550 jobs in restructuring

American Express Co.  said Wednesday that it will cut about 550 jobs as part of restructuring efforts. At the same time, the company also projected fourth-quarter earnings that slightly missed Wall Street estimates.

Shares recently fell 2.5 percent, to $45.21. Get the full story »

Credit-card use down, consumer credit up in Nov.

Americans kept their credit cards at bay in November, subdued by high joblessness and fallen home values.

The 27th straight drop in revolving credit restrained overall consumer borrowing, according to the Federal Reserve’s monthly consumer credit data. Get the full story »

Discover executives sell $4 million in stock

Two Discover Financial Services executives ended 2010 by selling nearly $4 million in stock of the Riverwoods-based credit card company.

On Dec. 20, President Roger Hochschild sold 100,000 shares for an average price of $18.26. On Dec. 27, Chief Financial Officer Roy Guthrie sold 115,000 shares for an average price of $18.50, according to Securities and Exchange Commission records. Get the full story »

Cash-back credit cards lead to more debt, Fed finds

Credit cards that give cash back prompt consumers to spend more and accrue more debt, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

The initiation of a 1 percent cash rewards program yielded, on average, a $25 reward each month — and an increase in spending by $68 a month and in credit-card debt of $115 a month, the economists say in a paper to be presented at the American Economic Association meetings next week. Get the full story »

Discover earns $350M as credit improves

Discover Financial Services reported a quarterly profit of $350 million on Thursday as consumers spent more on their credit cards and the company expanded its non-lending lines of business. The credit card lender and transaction-processing network said it earned 64 cents per share in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Nov. 30. Get the full story »

Credit-card delinquencies fall in November

Credit-card delinquency rates fell at major U.S. lenders in November as fewer consumers fell behind on their bill payments, signaling that they are recovering from the stress of the financial crisis.

But consumers are also avoiding racking up more debt on their credit cards, even during the holiday shopping season, in a sign that lenders will be struggling to rebuild their businesses for some time. Get the full story »

WikiLeaks backers attack MasterCard, Visa sites

Credit card giants MasterCard and Visa came under intense cyber attack Wednesday as supporters of WikiLeaks retaliated for moves against Julian Assange after the release of U.S. diplomatic cables that angered and embarrassed Washington.

The Swedish prosecution authority, whose arrest order for Assange over accusations of sexual offenses led a British court to remand the 39-year-old WikiLeaks website founder in custody, also said it had reported an online attack to police. Get the full story »

TransUnion: 2011 payment problems to drop

Consumers are expected to get better control on their mortgage and credit-card payments next year as the economy slowly improves.

Chicago-based credit reporting firm TransUnion predicts that delinquencies, or late payments, on the two biggest major forms of borrowing will drop sharply again in 2011, after substantial declines seen in the second half of this year. Get the full story »

Minnesota AG sues Discover over ‘protection’ fees

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is suing Discover over allegations that the credit card company charged customers for unauthorized account protection programs such as credit score tracking and identity theft protection.

Swanson filed a lawsuit Monday in Hennepin County District Court against Discover Bank, DFS Services and Riverwoods-based parent company Discover Financial Services. Discover is one of the nation’s largest credit card companies. Get the full story »

Cartoon characters promote prepaid cards

It was the Kardashian sisters a few days ago. Now it’s cartoon characters who are promoting prepaid cards. has begun selling Teen Prepaid MasterCards with images that include So So Happy, Skelanimals, Paul Frank, and Emily the Strange, according to a report issued Wednesday by Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of, a credit-card comparison Web site.

On Nov. 17, Hardekopf wrote about how the Kardashian Kard was a bad deal because of the high fees that came with the card. Get the full story »