On DISPOSABLE and Other “Next-Gen” Credit Cards

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BY DR. DAVID EDWARD MARCINKO MBA CMP®

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‘Chip & Pin’ Technology

Disposable credit cards are the newest innovation to help reduce fraud and assumed identity scams on e-commerce based websites. As with traditional credit cards, these cards are numbered, but used only once. Then, electronically they are erased so that there is nothing left in the merchant’s database for hackers to steal.

But, in 2014, Congress began looking at new ways to keep personal credit card information safe after several high-profile security breaches at some of America’s top retailers.

WHY? Current credit cards use easy to hack magnetic strip technology from the 1960s. Many consumers want more secure “pin & chip” cards which have been in use in Europe for years. Even though micro-chip technology costs billions to implement, merchants are moving in that direction as they issue new cards to consumers. Most modern polls show nearly half of all people surveyed are extremely concerned about the safety of their personal credit card information.

Burner Cards: Similar to a burner phone or “throwaway” social media account, burner credit cards are temporary, virtual credit cards that are not your “main” credit card. The bank or burner card app will give you a temporary number that links back to your main credit card which you can use for online purchases.

An ANonymous Credit Card provides an extreme degree of privacy and prevents the tracking of your expenses by a spouse, people with bad intentions or government monitoring agencies. It is important to realize that there are plenty of legitimate reasons for wanting to buy something discreetly through an Anonymous Credit Card.

Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid

No number has as far-reaching an impact on your money as your credit scores.

Here are some obstacles, physicians and all of us, should dodge on the road to financial security:

  • Don’t pay for a credit card repair service.
  • Don’t miss a payment.
  • Don’t max out your card.
  • Don’t take a cash-advance.
  • Don’t skip using your cards.
  • Don’t chase interest rates.
  • Don’t apply for several credit cards all at once.
  • Don’t co-sign a loan.
  • Don’t spread our car or mortgage payments.

Citation: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

Denied Credit

If you are denied a credit card, you have the right to obtain a credit report free from the agency which denied you. Your request must be made in writing and within thirty-sixty days. Consumer credit is governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  The regulations are issued by and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. Certain states offer consumers additional rights.  Credit reporting agencies are referred to as a “consumer reporting agency”.

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are appreciated.

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Who Owns Your Credit Card Reward Points?

Do your credit card reward points belong to you?

By Rick Kahler CFP®

For frequent travelers, who often choose credit cards based on reward programs, accumulated points can be worth thousands of dollars. Whether points are an asset that can be transferred to an heir is another matter.

I recently received this question: “Our friend whose husband recently passed away lost over a million points with Capital One because her husband was the primary on the account and she was just an authorized user, not a joint owner. Capital One closed the credit card since he passed and all the points were forfeited. Do you have any ideas on how to get the points back?”

Unfortunately, not much can be done after the fact. Most credit cards offering points that can be redeemed for travel expense say that points have no cash value and are not actually the property of the account owner but rather belong to the reward’s program. Most card programs’ terms and conditions say that points outstanding upon the card holder’s death are permanently forfeited.

An appeal to the issuing bank would be worth trying. Surprisingly, some will show compassion and allow the points to transfer to another account or credit their value against any outstanding balances on the card, usually at one cent per point.

Considering this issue ahead of time, however, might allow surviving spouses to avoid losing all of a loved one’s hard-earned points.

First, try to find a rewards card that will allow you to own the account jointly with your spouse rather than being an authorized user. If one spouse passes away, the points will remain in the account and the other joint owner will have full access to them. An authorized user has no risk or obligation to pay any debt, and therefore has no claim on any points that remain in the account after the death of the primary cardholder.

The downside of a joint account is that each cardholder is equally liable for any amounts the other charges to the account. If your marriage is transparent and without any financial infidelity going on, this shouldn’t be a problem. If the card is a business card, joint ownership could be more problematic.

Banks that I found that will allow joint accounts are US Bank and PNC Bank. Specific rewards cards that allow joint ownership are Bank of America Cash Rewards, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa, and Discover it Cash Back. Obviously, with only three rewards cards allowing joint ownership, that option isn’t widely available.

The next best choice is to be sure both partners have the login information for the account. This would allow a survivor to log on and redeem or transfer points. Many cards will allow transferring points to an airline or hotel rewards programs for 1.5 to 2.3 cents per point. Of course, both partners need to have access to those accounts as well, which generally isn’t a problem with most programs.


This is also the recommended method of accessing points with a specific airline. According to a September 19, 2019, article by Richard Kerr at thepointsguy.com, giving your next of kin access to all your airline and hotel awards accounts gives them “all the information needed to continue using the points and miles without alerting the airline.”

Including airline reward points in a will may be worthwhile. It might not make a difference with every airline or bank, but some programs will transfer such designated points without a fee.

Assessment:

Travel reward points may be a relatively minor asset. Still, a little planning can make them readily available without adding stress for a surviving spouse during a difficult time.

Conclusion

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On Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM and Debit Cards

 Why I Dislike Debit Cards –  And You Should Too!

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA]

If your credit, ATM, or debit card is lost or stolen, federal law limits your liability for unauthorized charges. Your protection against unauthorized charges depends on the type of card — and when you report the loss.

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https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0213-lost-or-stolen-credit-atm-and-debit-cards

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MORE: Pros and Cons

https://clark.com/commoncents/debit-vs-credit-pros-cons-protections-money/

Assessment

Your thoughts are appreciated.

MORE FOR DOCTORS:

“Insurance & Risk Management Strategies for Doctors” https://tinyurl.com/ydx9kd93

“Fiduciary Financial Planning for Physicians” https://tinyurl.com/y7f5pnox

“Business of Medical Practice 2.0” https://tinyurl.com/yb3x6wr8

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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Credit Card Acceptance in Medical Practice

One-third of Physician Practices Not Accepting CCs

By Staff ReportersGold Coins

The Physician Office Credit-Card Acceptance Survey, by SK&A Information Services, an Irvine, Califironia based provider of healthcare information solutions and research, suggests physician practices are limiting credit card [cc] payments because patients are being adversely affected by high interest rates, maxed out credit limits and a more challenging ability to qualify for unsecured credit.

Assessment

Read this report in HealthcareFinance News, on May 29 2009, by Richard Pizzi,

http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/one-third-physician-practices-do-not-accept-credit-card-payments

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Do our physician ME-P readers accept CCs? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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