While similar deals have been around for a while, this United MileagePlus Explorer offer is still attractive if you’re willing to jump through a few hoops. Under this offer, you’ll earn 50,000 miles after spending $1,000 within your first 3 months of cardmembership, a $50 statement credit after your first purchase and an additional 5,000 bonus miles after you add an authorized user to the account who makes a purchase within the first 3 months. In addition, you will earn another 10,000 bonus miles in every calendar year in which you spend at least $25,000.
The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year.
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Visa, MasterCard and banks that issue their credit cards have agreed to pay $7.3 billion to some 7 million U.S. merchants in a lawsuit over the fixing of credit card and debit card fees. The settlement, which includes $6.05 billion in payments for past damages and a temporary reduction in fees valued at $1.2 billion, is believed to be the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history.
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Discover’s popular Holiday Mall promotion is back and is bigger than ever. For every $200 you spend on your Discover card at one of 160 participating shopping centers between November 1 and December 31, 2007, you’ll receive a $20 Discover gift card. There is a limit of five gift cards awarded per account.
For more details and to see a list of participating malls, see this link.
On Friday, Morgan Stanley spun-off Discover Financial Services to focus on its higher-growth, core businesses. Already, there is speculation that Discover will be bought out in the near future:
“We believe there is a reasonable likelihood of a sale of Discover over the next two years,” wrote Eric W. Wasserstrom, a UBS research analyst, in a report initiating coverage on the company with a “neutral” rating.
Potential suitors include Citigroup, General Electric and Wal-Mart.
A couple months ago, I described how some were exploiting a credit scoring loophole for profit. It appears that Fair Isaac, the company that develops the FICO score, has noticed this trend and is moving towards stopping this abuse. As part of its planned overhaul of its credit scoring system in September, Fair Isaac will no longer consider authorized users on an account when calculating a credit score, thus effectively closing the loophole.
While this move should end this abuse of the system, it also has other ramifications. No longer will it be beneficial to add someone with a limited credit history, such as a child or a spouse, as an authorized user to help jumpstart their credit. Overall that is probably a worthwhile tradeoff to make. Lenders must have confidence that the score, which should only reflect an individual’s probability of repaying a debt, is not so easily manipulated.
A poster at FW is saying that many new Chase accounts actually have a 30 day period in which to make their initial balance transfer without paying a fee:
Chase just sent a memo to it’s credit supervisors telling them that some accounts that required a BT at the time of application to avoid BT fees, actually had a 30 day period in which to make a BT with no fees! Mine was one of them. So they must have had more complaints than just mine. So I moved 50% of that card’s cl to my interest bearing acct without any BT fees!. I think that the language on the application was very unclear and that is what caused all of this. SO if you got stuck paying a BT fee on a new account call Chase and see what they can do.
Sounds like this won’t apply to everyone, but the info may be useful for some rate surfers.