By  Tue Feb 18, 2014

Capital One Contract Update Draws Privacy Concerns: 5 Things to Know for the Week


A new contract update from Capital One, one of the nation’s largest credit card issuers, allows the company to take rather extreme measures to contact a customer. Does it concern you that your credit card issuer can stop by any time to reach you?

  • TIAA Direct has started to accept new customers again after suspending new applications in July 2012. At the time, the online bank offered an extremely attractive savings rate of 1.25% APY. A spokesperson said that the suspension marked the end of a pilot phase for the relatively new online bank. Today, however, the online bank’s savings rate stands at an unremarkable 0.40% APY.
  • Capital One is taking fire for a recent contract update that gives the card issuer the right to make a “personal visit” to cardholders. Customers may be weary of the violation of privacy that such a clause may entail. But, the card company says it does not intend to show up at cardmembers’ homes and workplaces. The new contract clause will allow Capital One to repossess items from those who default on their card accounts.
  • On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its January board meeting, the last session with Ben Bernanke at the helm as chairman. Last month, the Fed said that it will continue to decrease the pace at which it would buy government bonds. The minutes may also reveal the sentiments of Janet Yellen, Bernanke’s replacement, who took office in February.
  • Starting this Friday, early-bird taxpayers who filed their tax returns already can begin to expect their tax refunds. According to the IRS, returns that are filed electronically will see refunds in about 21 days. The tax season started on Jan. 31 — these first tax refunds will mostly likely be seen by those who filed electronically and opted for direct deposit of their refunds.
  • Later this month, the first bitcoin ATM in the U.S. will be installed in Seattle, Wash. and Austin, Texas. The kiosks will have scanners that read government-issued ID, including driver’s licenses and passports. Bitcoin users will be able to deposit cash to buy bitcoins or to use their bitcoins to retrieve cash.

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