April 7, 2016


Consumers Win Big As Banks Compete On Credit Cards (Robert Harrow, 4/07/16, Forbes0

In late March 2016, Wal-Mart rolled out new benefits for holders of their retail credit card. Previously, the Walmart Mastercard MA -1.31% was barely on anyone's radar, and could be outperformed by any of the top reward credit cards. The changes, which took effect April 1, give cardholders 3% back on Walmart.com purchases, 2% back on fuel purchased at Murphy USA MUSA -1.11% & Walmart gas stations, and the standard 1% back everywhere else. Analysts speculated that the move was a direct response to one of the wholesaler's biggest rivals, Costco, which also recently unveiled newsworthy benefits. Costco recently announced its new Citi Costco Credit Card with a similar gas focused offer.

To anyone following the fiercely competitive credit card scene, this sort of back-and-forth is nothing new. Banks have been competing with one another to produce the so-called "top of the wallet" credit card for years. Issuers want consumers to use their credit card in order to maximize per-swipe revenue, as well as help strengthen their brand and market share. Fortunately for consumers, the nature of this market has led to reward programs that would have been unheard of a decade ago.

Posted by at April 7, 2016 6:15 PM