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8 Million Credit Card Customers Vanish

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  • 8 Million Credit Card Customers Vanish

    February 2, 2011

    Credit card issuers live in interesting times. New reforms threaten their profits, while our slowly recovering economy pushes more people to put away their plastic. But while this might sound like bad news for banks and their investors, the situation's not as dire as it seems.

    Admittedly, you wouldn't get that impression from credit agency TransUnion's recent report, which suggested that as many as 8 million consumers, or 11% of cardholders, may have completely stopped using credit cards.

    It's probably true that a tough economy is leading many people to cut back on their spending and leave their credit cards at home. But once the economy recovers , consumers will likely forget these lean times and reopen their wallets. Even though the price of gas remains steep, sales of fuel-guzzling trucks and SUVs have been rising after years of recent declines.

    In contrast to TransUnion's gloomy outlook, American Express (NYSE: AXP ) reported last week that spending on its cards was up 15% year over year during the most recent quarter. Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF ) recently reported an uptick in its credit card business, with charge-offs and delinquencies down.

    Profitable tweaks
    Investors can also take heart in the ingenuity of banks and the credit card industry . When one door to profits closes, financial institutions manage to open a window or two. Some, such as Citigroup (NYSE: C ) , Discover Financial (NYSE: DFS ) , and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) , have been changing their " rewards " cards programs, making rewards harder to earn. They've likely meant to cut back on payments to reward-seeking cardholders. But given recent findings that rewards cards boost spending on cards, I wouldn't be surprised to see banks push those rewards again. Credit cards can be powerful ways for banks to make money on growing debt balances and the interchange fees charged to vendors.

    Reduced credit-card use may be leading more people to use debit cards, but banks are now considering charging customers for using those debit cards, too. Reforms threaten to limit how much merchants are charged when customers use debit cards, but Visa (NYSE: V ) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA ) have been fighting a potential cap.

    Don't get too happy -- or too worried -- about falling credit card use. It's tied to the economy's swinging pendulum, and even reforms aren't likely to deliver too big a blow to card issuers.
    Last edited by AngelinaCat; 02-17-2011, 09:08 AM. Reason: to conform to the formatting rules for this board.
    Filed Chap 7/No Asset: 8/31/2010
    341 Hearing: 9/27/2010
    Discharged: 11/30/2010 -- Cash IS King!

  • #2
    I'm one of them!! Good riddence!


    • #3
      Yep! Me, too. And it also made me wonder if the 8 million customers were really BK folk.
      Filed Chap 7/No Asset: 8/31/2010
      341 Hearing: 9/27/2010
      Discharged: 11/30/2010 -- Cash IS King!


      • #4
        me too...i use to believe it was important to re-establish our credit and we did....we have 3 cards...and even on this forum...many believe you need to use them to built up your credit...
        well...i say time is what works...the more time passes between your bk discharge and applying when and if you need money...the better the changes of getting it.

        we discussed this over and over in this house and decided to rip up the capitol one...with the 2k limit and the other with a 1500k limit and the last with a 1300 k limit...crashed them a few works ago and now it's debit card or NO card.

        so i'm with you....good riddance!!! and those banks and their charges and fees can stick them where the sun don't shine!
        8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK


        • #5
          Ahhh Tobee. . .you're beginning to sound like me!!!! LOL
          Filed Ch. 7 11/8/10: Survived 341 Meeting 12/13/10 Report of No Distribution!! 12/14/10Received UST Presumption of Abuse!! 12/15/10 UST states Dismissal is Inappropriate! DISHARGED!! 2/22/11


          • #6
            The more we use cash, the less money the merchants pay in fees (the company I work for pays over $100K a MONTH in credit card fees, and this is not counting chargebacks). Which will help hold their costs down. Which will help keep them from having to increase costs to the consumer. And in this case, a debit card is not the same as cash, merchants are charged the same fees regardless of whether it's a credit card or a debit card.


            • #7
              I cut up all my cards the day I decided to file for bk. Hadn't used any in months as it was - couldn't afford to! I did get a letter from American Express saying I could get/use my points if I paid off the account. Yeah, right. THAT's a real good reason to keep paying!


              • #8
                Hey---discouraged---don't you just love their psychology?!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by helpmeout View Post
                  The more we use cash, the less money the merchants pay in fees
                  That's the ticket right there. Every time you use the credit or debit card, the bank is making money.

                  CASH IS KING!
                  All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
                  Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by clevelandmom View Post
                    Ahhh Tobee. . .you're beginning to sound like me!!!! LOL
                    LOL!! and that doesn't sound bad to me!!!

                    i think i feel like the rat go goes to take a bite of the food and gets an electric shock when i use any of those cards...and then i RUSH home and pay them off why i have them??

                    and it's really not for us anyway, the "miss use" of the cards that got us to was job loss and illness which resulted in over 200k worth of medical expenses....many of which were on the cc' i just can't feel right about using them.
                    8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by frogger View Post
                      That's the ticket right there. Every time you use the credit or debit card, the bank is making money.

                      CASH IS KING!
                      i agree...and actually since i'm old debit cards are a new thing for me.....

                      however, the ONLY time they are good are when we travel...example...checking in luggage at the airport...ONLY debit or credit cards no cash........renting a car the it stinks...

                      and by the way, my bank doesn't charge us any fees for using our card...but then again we have never ever used it to draw out cash...i'm not even know exactly how one would even do that...and don't want to know..LOL!! i'm keeping dumb on that process..
                      8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK


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