This is a roundup of news that I have come across during the day. Read about how banks are spending more on marketing as credit car debt keeps falling, Simple bank shutdown goes awry leaving customers without account access, strong rebound in leisure and business travel, renovated Bacchanal Buffet to reopen, and Rental Cars and Uber during these bizarre times.
Americans are paying down their credit-card debt at levels not seen in years. That is good news for everyone but credit-card issuers. Large card issuers that cater to borrowers ranging from the affluent to the subprime say that overall card balances—and thus the firms’ interest income—are falling. To make up for it, issuers are spending more on marketing and loosening their underwriting standards. Balances at the Discover, Capital One and Synchrony Financial are down 9%, 17% and 7% respectively in the first quarter from a year prior.
The online bank Simple shut down on Saturday and was supposed to seamlessly transition customers’ accounts over to its parent company, BBVA. But instead, many users found themselves unable to access their bank account at all, as BBVA’s website returned an assortment of error messages, from “system error” to warnings that their account information was mismatched.
Marriott CEO Tony Capuano — himself now fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and traveling for business again — is bracing for a summer travel boom as people venture back out after getting their shots.
“We are seeing a really strong rebound in demand in our biggest markets,” Capuano said on Yahoo Finance Live. “In March, we saw a stronger demand recovery month-over-month than we have seen in any other month since the pandemic began. And in markets like China, we are seeing demand levels that are actually well above pre-pandemic. And the really exciting thing about that for us, it’s not just leisure. In fact in March, we saw business travel in China 5% above where it was in March of 2019.”
Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace redefined the buffet experience when it first opened in 2012. Now, after undergoing a major renovation for more than a year, the buffet will reopen on Thursday, May 20, showcasing a multimillion-dollar enhancement. Bacchanal’s seafood, carving, American and Latin kitchens, as well as the entrance and dining room, have all received major upgrades and improvements. In addition to an all-new look and feel, more than 30 new dishes have been added to Bacchanal’s menu. And, for the first time, Bacchanal is introducing reservations at OpenTable.com.
As many of you know, there is a shortage of rental cars right now. When travel came to a standstill in 2020, car rental companies sold off inventory. And now, there is a shortage of semiconductor chips used in new cars, so new car production is slower. As a result, the price of rental cars has skyrocketed. Rideshare apps have also suffered during the pandemic. Many drivers quit due to low demand. This has made it challenging to catch a ride.