Venmo Launches Its First Credit Card, Offering Up To 3% Cash Back, Personalized Rewards

The Venmo Credit Card is rolling out to select customers. The Visa card offers 3% cash back on eligible purchases, personalized rewards and tools to track and manage finances. What makes the card potentially appealing to Venmo’s younger user base is how the card is directly integrated into the Venmo mobile app. Users can earn rewards from eight spending categories. Users will earn 3% back on their top spending category, 2% from the second highest category, then 1% on all others. [Tech Crunch]

How the Pandemic Is Changing Americans’ Credit Card Habits

Over half of those surveyed in September said that they’ve put money towards a debt as a direct result of the pandemic, or plan to in the future. 29% of credit card users said they’re using their credit cards more than they were pre-pandemic, particularly when it comes to food and self-care items. Even as Americans decrease their balances, however, there’s anxiety around it: 25% of Americans say credit card debt is a source of daily stress right now. [Money]

Travel May Not Be Back to Normal, but Credit Card Companies are Starting to Offer New Flight, Hotel, and Points Perks

Credit card companies shifted away from travel benefits at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but these perks are starting to creep back. American Express recently unveiled a suite of travel features for its cardholders, including discounts on eligible hotel stays and airfare. Chase and Capital One also launched record-high welcome bonuses on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. [Business Insider]

Mastercard Consumers Can Receive 2 Free Months

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “a” of International General Insurance Co. Ltd., (IGICL) (Bermuda) and International General Insurance Company (UK) Limited (IGIUK) (United Kingdom). Concurrently, the rating of International General Insurance Holdings Limited (IGI) (United Arab Emirates), now an intermediary holding company, has been withdrawn at the company’s request. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

At the same time, AM Best has assigned a Long-Term ICR of “bbb” to International General Insurance Holdings Limited (IGIC) (Bermuda). The outlook assigned to this rating is stable.

The ratings of IGI reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

On 17 March 2020, IGI and Tiberius Acquisition Corporation (Tiberius) announced the completion of their business combination. As part of the combination agreement, IGI exchanged its shares for common shares of IGIC, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary. IGIC is a new public company, listed on the Nasdaq, and is now the ultimate parent of the group. Tiberius and IGI raised approximately USD 146 million as part of the transaction, of which USD 41 million was added to IGI’s balance sheet.

IGI’s strong operating results have been underpinned by robust underwriting performance over the long term. However, the company’s performance is affected by foreign exchange movements, largely through exposure to GBP-denominated business from IGI’s growing U.K. book of business. The company reported a five-year average combined ratio of 92% (2015-2019), despite the impact of catastrophe losses in 2017. AM Best views IGI’s underwriting discipline as a key factor supporting its good financial results and expects the company to report strong, albeit potentially volatile, profits in prospective years.

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “aa-” of Tokio Marine Pacific Insurance Limited (TMPI) (Guam). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is negative.

The ratings reflect TMPI’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also acknowledge the wide range of implicit and explicit support that TMPI receives from its parent, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. (TMNF).

TMPI’s risk-adjusted capitalisation remains at the strongest level in 2019, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The balance sheet strength assessment also is underpinned by the company’s high quality assets and a conservative investment strategy. Its net underwriting leverage remains relatively high; however, the group accident and health (A&H) business, which accounts for more than 90% of TMPI’s underwriting portfolio, is considered to have low potential for volatility in general.

Notwithstanding a historical track record of positive and stable operating performance supported by the limited volatility and low expense structure of the group A&H line, TMPI reported a large net loss in 2019, mainly driven by the deteriorated profitability in its key business account, the Guam government’s health plan (GovGuam). Although the GovGuam account was not renewed for the 2020/2021 term, the continued negative rating outlooks reflect persistent pressure on TMPI’s operating performance assessment, as its premium base will remain at a significantly lower level following the plan’s non-renewal, which will subject its bottom line to greater vulnerability in large claim cases. In addition, the company faces an increasing expense burden from regulatory A&H industry fee payments in 2020 and tax obligations following the expiry of its corporate tax exemption in April 2019. Various initiatives to

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a” of Luen Fung Hang Insurance Company Limited (LFH) (Macau). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect LFH’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

LFH’s balance sheet strength continues to be supported by a robust level of risk-adjusted capitalisation. Supported by positive operating results and profit retention, the company’s capital and surplus continued to grow organically in 2019 to MOP 567 million (USD 71 million). LFH’s investment strategy remains stable and conservative with a majority of its investments held in bonds and cash. Going forward, the company plans to invest more in bonds while maintaining a similar level of exposure inequity investments.

LFH has demonstrated a track record of consistently strong operating performance over the past five years, which continues to be supported by positive underwriting and investment results. The company’s net combined ratio slightly improved in 2019, mainly driven by an improvement in the net commission ratio, while its management expense ratio and net loss ratio remained stable. LFH’s investment portfolio continues to generate stable streams of interest and dividend income and supports the company’s overall operating results.

LFH ranked second in the Macau non-life insurance market, with a market share of more than 20% in terms of gross premium written 2019. The company continues to leverage the distribution channel support from its bank shareholders and maintains a competitive edge in acquiring good quality business through the bancassurance channel. LFH’s underwriting portfolio remains moderately diversified with its major lines of business being in residential fire, medical and other accident. The company’s business is concentrated in Macau and

If you find yourself in a situation where you need a little financial help, take time to think about your options. Automatically reaching for a credit card — or applying for a personal loan — might not be the best money move.

According to the Federal Reserve, consumer debt increased $12.3 billion month over month in July 2020. Interestingly, revolving debt, which includes credit card debt, decreased about $300 million. But nonrevolving debt, which includes personal loans, grew by $12.6 billion.

Bottom line: If you have debt or are facing an expensive but necessary purchase, you can choose how you want to attack the debt. Your goal is to minimize the risk of making your debt worse than it already is. Make the right choice, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to fiscal sanity again.

So let’s take a look at how to decide whether you need a credit card or a personal loan for your debt situation. Keep reading , and here’s what you’ll learn:

When to use a credit card.

Pros and cons of credit cards.

When to use a personal loan.

Pros and cons of personal loans.

What if you need to consolidate debt?

When to Use a Credit Card

Several years ago, I had a giant hole in my kitchen ceiling. It was the unfortunate result of a leaking roof and a monsoonlike storm that lasted for five days.

The bill for this fiasco? A cool $16,000. I was fortunate to have an emergency fund and a credit card with a ridiculously low annual percentage rate (the perks of having a long, currently drama-free credit history). It was going to take my insurer some time to approve the coverage, and I needed to fix the roof before