Saturday's attack is the biggest on Saudi oil infrastructure since Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.Energyread more
Saudi Aramco is aiming to restore by Monday about a third of its crude output that was disrupted after drone attacks on two key oil facilities, The Wall Street Journal...Marketsread more
"Blaming Iran won't end disaster. Accepting our April '15 proposal to end war & begin talks may," Zarif said on Twitter.Energyread more
Oil prices are expected to jump as much as $10 per barrel after a coordinated drone strike hit Saudi Arabia's largest oil field, forcing the kingdom to cut its oil output in...Marketsread more
Apple's new iPhones can still send texts, download apps, and make video calls, but the company spends a lot of time and effort marketing its new phones as powerful photography...Technologyread more
The trucking industry is worth hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Uber is going after this market with Uber Freight, an online platform that matches truckers with...Technologyread more
Some U.S. manufacturers say tariffs, if targeted, will help address longstanding unfair trade practices like intellectual property theft.Traderead more
Supporters of a $15 minimum wage ballot initiative in Florida argue the state's inflation-tied pay hikes have not gone far enough.2020 Electionsread more
Saudi Arabia shut down half its oil production Saturday after drone strikes hit the world's largest oil processing facility in an attack claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels.Politicsread more
Trusii's hydrogen water machines were supposed to help users with their health problems, but customers claim the company is involved in a giant scam.Technologyread more
The decoupling of the world's two weightiest economies seems as inescapable as its extent and global impact remains incalculable.Politicsread more
Savvy credit-card users have forced J.P. Morgan Chase to pony up more in rewards payments than the bank originally projected.
Buried in an otherwise positive second-quarter earnings report Friday, in which the bank announced a record $8.32 billion profit, was the admission that credit-card customers were redeeming points faster than anticipated, resulting in a $330 million charge.
“This is maybe larger than we have seen over the course of the last several years,” said Marianne Lake, the chief financial officer, during a conference call with reporters. “We do pretty regularly review our rewards liability in light of evolving consumer behavior.”
Credit-card issuers scrambling to sign coveted high-spenders have sparked a rewards war in recent years. J.P. Morgan ratcheted up the competition in 2016 with its Sapphire Reserve card, which came with lavish perks including a 100,000-point signing bonus and triple rewards for travel and dining. The initial run of that card sapped quarterly profit by as much as $300 million, the bank said in December 2016.
The bank’s recent charge may indicate that consumers are simply getting smarter with rewards programs, according to Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride. In online forums devoted to credit-card usage, consumers boast about using spreadsheets and smartphone apps to stay on top of their credit.
“There’s a subset of savvy credit-card users who are diligent about maximizing their usage to capture the biggest benefit they can,” McBride said.
These consumers, he said, only use the cards in categories that pay the richest points. For instance, they would whip out a Sapphire card for dining and travel but switch to Chase’s Freedom card to pay for purchases in the rotating category that’s rewarded most, such as gas stations and drug stores.
J.P. Morgan’s Lake said that the recent charge, coming from Sapphire and other cards, is a good thing because it shows how engaged users are.
The cards division has seen strong loan growth, modest charge-offs and record low attrition rates, she said, alleviating fears from some analysts that customers would stop using the plastic after redeeming the sign-on bonus.
Chase's card customers, especially those picked up in the last couple of years, have strong spending patterns, Lake said. “Engaged customers bring us more spend, they bring us more of their share of wallet.”