It was a quiet week for credit cards as all eyes watched the activities in D.C.—banks included, apparently. Nevertheless, we’ve rounded up a few bits of news worth highlighting, including some words of caution for secured cardholders, a new card deal Whole Foods fans may love, and a car card issuer switcheroo.
This weekly credit card news roundup contains what you should know about the cards in your wallet, other available offers, and new product announcements or reports that made us step away from our Twitter feeds (for a moment, anyway).
What’s the Lowdown?
Here’s what caught our attention between Jan. 15 and Jan. 21, 2021:
Secured Cardholders Who Skipped Card Payments Last Year, Hang Tight
If you’ve been using a secured credit card to rebuild your credit (or to get started), but are itching for a more appealing rewards card with a higher credit limit, pause for a second. It may not be the best time to request an account upgrade or apply for that new card, particularly if you requested payment assistance during the pandemic last year.
Experts explained to us that card issuers are carefully evaluating risky customer payment history, job security (which helps ensure debt repayment), and credit scores. If your credit history and job are stable right now, the lending environment may be more welcoming, but if there is anything that might give card issuers reason to think twice, you may want to stick with that secured card a bit longer.
Whole Foods Fans Will Stan This New Amazon Card Deal & Design
Chase debuted a new card design on Wednesday along with a pretty sweet statement credit offer for grocery shoppers who don’t have the Amazon Prime Rewards Card yet: Spend $100 at Whole Foods with the card and get a $100 statement credit back. That’s a decent bit of your paycheck back, and comes on top of the 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases it offers—as long as you have a Prime membership, that is.
If you already have the Amazon Prime Rewards Card and love spending your whole paycheck at Whole Foods, you can showcase your brand love with this sharp card design:
Those who already have this card can request a refreshed card after Jan. 22, 2021. New cardholders can select the design right off the bat after approval (you’ll just need to become a Prime member within two months after opening your account to earn the statement credit).
Goldman Sachs to Add General Motors Credit Cards to Its Garage
Goldman Sachs, the bank behind the much-hyped, unicorn-colored Apple Card, announced Friday that it will be taking over the General Motors (GM) credit card program in September.
The announcement was short on details, but revealed the credit cards, which include the GM BuyPower Credit Card, will remain on the Mastercard network. When we learn more, we’ll be sure to fill your tank with all the details.
What Else Is Happening?
- Check Your Email, Chase Airline, and Hotel Card Holders: If you’ve been neglecting a Southwest, British Airways, United, IHG, Marriott, or Hyatt-branded card from Chase during the pandemic, make sure you aren’t missing out on extra grocery, gas, and pharmacy rewards right now. Chase confirmed rumors that targeted bonus point offers were sent to some travel cardholders earlier this month. The offers may run through March, so check your email to make sure you didn’t miss a memo about a sweet, limited-time offer you can enjoy while you’re not traveling much.
- Amex Gives New Platinum Cardholders More Time to Earn Bonus: The Platinum Card improvements that started last week got even better this week. American Express is now giving new Platinum Card holders six months to spend $5,000 to earn 75,000 bonus points instead of the more typical three-month window. For those still watching their spending during the pandemic, that’s a nice cushion for a sizable offer.
- American Express Boosts Platinum Biz Card Offer: Yep, more shiny Platinum news, but this time it’s for those interested in the business card. Amex added an extra 10,000 bonus points to this card’s welcome offer late last week, which means new cardholders can now earn 85,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 within three months. For small-business owners who can meet the spending requirement, that offer is worth about $969, based on our point-value calculations. Not too shabby.