Big ups to Jeff over at the Sustainable Life Blog for including my post, “Brother, can you spare a swipe? Contactless card reading guitar unveiled,” in this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance.
My post, which details a wireless, touchless credit card accepting guitar by Barclays, is nuzzled into the ever-popular theme of Labor Day. Because what says Labor Day more than a raggedy bum asking for change and strumming “Like A Rolling Stone” in the corner of a busy intersection? Well … maybe that’s not the best example.
The holiday, according to the carnival, is “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” So congratulate yourself, kick up your feet and head on over to the carnival for a short history of Labor day and loads of great personal finance articles. At least I think he was talking about the item, not me.
Have you ever had the strong urge to give your hard-earned money to someone strumming “Dust in the Wind” out of key at a vacant intersection? Well, neither have I. But London-based issuer Barclays hopes our apprehension will disappear with its new approach to street charity: a wireless, touchless, credit card accepting guitar.
The financial institution unveiled the instrument Thursday, Aug. 26, in London during a publicity stunt promoting its “contactless technology.” People passing by a street musician — known as a “busker” in the UK — were handed prepaid cards loaded with £5 and were instructed to wave it near the head of the guitar. The money was then taken off the card and donated to the Help a London Child charity.
Contactless cards aren’t exclusive to Barclays’s, but they all work the same: By using radio-frequency identification, or RFID. The card data is stored in a chip inside the plastic and is transmitted using short-range electromagnetic waves emitted by the contactless-card reader. Tollbooths, garage door openers and workplace ID fobs are a few devices that use RFID technology today.
Susie Supalo’s six-year quest for Super Bowl tickets came to a joyous end Friday.
Supalo was one of thousands of Bank of America credit cardholders who were stunned by the banking giant’s announcement in July that after August 31, 2010, the reward points they’d earned on their officially licensed NFL credit cards would expire. After the announcement, I wrote a blog on the topic, which prompted this comment from Supalo a few weeks later:
“I have been saving NFL points for 6 years for Super Bowl tickets. I had enough points last Super Bowl for upper level seats but decided not to redeem them because I had been saving for so long I thought I would wait for lower level seats. I have enough points for lower level seats and now I can’t redeem them. Obtaining Super Bowl tickets with my points has been my goal for 6 years. I think BofA and NFL should have given us more notice. I would have redeemed my points last Super Bowl. Is there anything I can do? I feel cheated by the NFL, B of A and the Chicago Bears! How can they get away with this???”
Got rewards points from using your favorite NFL team’s official credit card? Redeem them soon to get that Peyton Manning jersey or Dallas Cowboys helmet or they’ll disappear forever.
Consider it a two-minute warning from the National Football League and Bank of America: “After August 31, 2010,” the bank says on its NFL Extra Points program website, “Bank of America will no longer offer the NFL credit card program. All points must be redeemed on or before this date.” Otherwise, the points will expire.
To drive home the point, NFLExtraPoints.com features a giant countdown clock just below a headline that screams “Redeem your points before the clock hits zero! Last chance to spend your points.” The site also says that current NFL credit cardholders will soon receive more information on the situation.
So what’s driving this? The NFL is moving its credit card business from Bank of America — with whom its partnered for 15 years — to British-owned Barclays Bank. According to the Associated Press, Barclays’ new NFL program is set to debut in September. The NFL regular season begins September 9.