Credit Card Fraud Protection Comparison Preview
I will soon be doing an in-depth study on credit card fraud protection features offered by issuers. But here is a preview of what some of the larger issuers are doing. But first, let us look at a study on this issue that has been published recently. Javelin Strategy has ranked the top credit cards and issuers in terms of credit card fraud protection features. The results of Javelin’s Card Issuer Scorecard Study are listed below:
Overall: Safest card issuers
1.Bank of America (Visa Platinum)
2.American Express (Blue from American Express)
3.(2-way tie) Discover (Discover Platinum), First National Bank Omaha (Platinum Edition Visa)
4.Citibank (Citi Platinum Select)
5.Navy Federal Credit Union (Platinum MasterCard)
Fraud Prevention: Top card issuers
1.Citibank (Citi Platinum Select)
2.(3-way tie) Bank of America (Visa Platinum), First National Bank Omaha (Platinum Edition Visa), Navy Federal Credit Union (Platinum MasterCard)
3.Discover (Discover Platinum)
4.JPMorgan Chase (Chase Platinum Visa)
5.Nordstrom (Platinum Visa)
Fraud Detection: Top card issuers
1.American Express (Blue from American Express)
2.U.S. Bank (U.S. Bank Visa Platinum
3.Bank of America (Visa Platinum)
4.Discover (Discover Platinum)
5.(3-way tie) Capital One (Capital One Platinum MasterCard), First National Bank Omaha (Platinum Edition Visa), Wachovia (Wachovia Visa)
Fraud Resolution: Top card issuers
1.(12-way tie) American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Citibank, FNB Omaha, HSBC, National City, Navy FCU, RBS National, State Farm Bank, Target, Wachovia
2.(8-way tie) BB&T, Commerce Bank, Discover, Nordstrom, Sun Trust, U.S. Bank, WaMu, Wells Fargo
3.(3-way tie) Fifth Third, GE, USAA
Features offered by different issuers
American Express Blue
To add to their list, here is a list of features that are offered by some of the highlighted cards mentioned above. Let’s start with the American Express Blue Credit Card. The Blue Credit Card offers a CreditSecure for only $11.99 a month. It allows you to check your credit reports and scores from the three major credit bureaus. There are daily monitoring of your reports and you will receive email alerts when there is any suspicious activities. You also get Identity Theft coverage policy for up to $5,000 per occurrence provided by Virginia Surety, Inc, Card and document registration service to assist you in the event they become lost or stolen, and also access to customer representatives.
American Express generally offers fraud protection guarantee. All you have to do is simply call the 1800 number and you will not be liable for any fraudulent charges. You can also set email alerts when you are approaching your credit limits and when there is suspicious activities on your card.
Bank of America Visa
Bank of America also has a similar program called the Privacy Assist Premier. It cost $12.99 a month. You can access your credit reports and scores. Every 90 days, you will get an updated, easy-to-read summary credit report that collects data about credit activities and credit scores from the 3 leading agencies. Your credit files will be monitored each business day. You’ll be sent a notification within 2 business days when new accounts are opened, inquiries are made, or address changes occur so you can take action if needed.
If you become a victim of identity theft, you’ll be covered for certain items by an Identity Fraud Expense Coverage at no additional cost of up to $25,000. This coverage is not available to New York residents.
I found that Chase has one of the most systematic process in place for email alerts. For example, you can request that they watch out for things like international transactions, cash advances, internet transactions, set a dollar transaction amount, change of address request, change of pin request, balance transfer request, new credit card request and any new authorized user. You also get $25,000 in fraud insurance.
Citi Platinum Select Card
Citi also takes a multi prong approach to identity protection and fraud. Firstly, like other issuers, Citi has early warning emails for any suspicious activities. What sets Citi apart is that you are given a virtual credit card number for you to shop online. While shopping online is actually one of the safest and least likely way to be a victim of identity theft, this is a great extra protection measure.
Citi also has a group of specialist that
* Advises you on how to file police reports and close accounts with other creditors
* Stay on the phone with you when you place Fraud Alerts with credit bureaus
* Assist you with their Identity Theft Tool Kit, which will help you take the proper steps to get your good name and good credit back.
* Quickly clear any fraudulent charges on your account.
* Set up a new Citi card for you with the appropriate credit line you need to get through this challenging time.
Like I said earlier, this is just a little preview, I will be posting more about this issue going forward.