This Week in Credit Card News: August 13–19
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Capital One launches two new student credit cards and a new business credit card; Mastercard plans to remove mag stripes from credit and debit cards; Wells Fargo launches card match tool to check for pre-selected offers.
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Capital One Launches Two New Student Credit Cards: Quicksilver Student and SavorOne Student
- It’s a good time to be a student trying to build your credit, as there seem to be more options than ever for people with limited or no credit history. Capital One has added two more valuable student credit cards to the mix:
- The new cards are student versions of a couple popular Capital One cards (the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review) and Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review)). The student cards come with the same spending rewards as their older cousins, and many of the same terms, but without the introductory bonuses or 0% APRs.
- The Quicksilver Student and SavorOne Student join the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One (Review), the issuer’s longstanding student card. Although the Journey card is available for non-students, despite the name, the new student cards require you to confirm your student status when applying.
- See Capital One credit cards or other student credit cards.
Capital One Launches New Business Credit Card: Spark Cash Plus With 2% Back
- Capital One has released a new business credit card: Capital One Spark Cash Plus.
- The Spark Cash Plus is replacing the old Capital One Spark Cash for Business (Review), but the change isn’t necessarily for the better, at least for small businesses with less spending. The new card has a higher annual fee, without much in exchange aside from a yearly bonus in return for spending a certain amount. It also must be paid in full each billing cycle (it’s a charge card); you can’t cary a balance from month to month.
- See Capital One business credit cards or other business credit cards.
Mastercard Has Plans To Remove Mag Stripes From Cards
- Mastercard is the first major payment network with plans to phase out the traditional magnetic stripe from the backs of credit and debit cards. Starting in 2024 in most markets, newly issued Mastercard credit and debit cards won’t be required to have a mag stripe. By 2033, Mastercard plans to have no cards with magnetic stripes. The switch will begin in Europe, where chip cards have been commonly used for years; in 2027, banks in the U.S. will no longer be required to add mag stripes to Mastercards.
- Magnetic stripes work by encoding card information in a series of magnetic patterns; when you swipe a card, the terminal reads the card information as it goes by. Magnetic tape technology is old; it’s been in use since the ’60s, not just in cards but in applications like tape and video cassettes, so thieves and scammers have had plenty of time to develop devices like card skimmers and shimmers to steal card information.
- Mag stripes are being replaced in favor of modern security features like EMV chips (with signature or PIN verification methods). These improved security features encrypt your card and personal information, rather than leaving it relatively open like a mag stripe, although they have their own vulnerabilities. Mastercard reports that EMV chips are used for 86% of face-to-face transactions around the world.
- Contactless payment methods are gaining steam as well, especially as the coronavirus pandemic has raised concerns about touching shared surfaces. Some cards have contactless tech built in, but you can also add most credit and debit cards to mobile wallets and tap to pay with your phone, touch-free. Mobile wallets can effectively make any card contactless, while giving you an additional layer of security. Eventually, we may also see biometric cards that read your fingerprint (but those are probably a long way off).
- Learn more about chip cards: EMV, chip-and-signature, and chip-and-PIN.
- Find a chip-and-PIN credit card.
- Source: Mastercard Newsroom
Wells Fargo’s New Card Match Tool Lets You Check for Pre-Qualified Credit Card Offers
- Wells Fargo joins the ranks of credit card issuers that let you check for pre-selected credit card offers with its new card match tool. The feature allows you to see if Wells Fargo is currently offering you any credit cards, based on an initial, cursory look at your credit history.
- Using the tool will not impact your credit scores in any way. It will likely generate a soft inquiry on your credit reports.
- Being pre-selected for a credit card doesn’t guarantee approval, but it generally means you have a good chance of qualifying. If you have no pre-selected offers, that doesn’t necessarily mean you wouldn’t be approved for a credit card. Learn more about pre-approved credit card offers.
- See Wells Fargo credit cards.
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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