You’ve probably already seen the promotion in your e-mail inbox, your actual mailbox or on countless website ads: A $100 “cash back bonus” if you sign up for a credit card. Three of the biggest card issuers – Chase, Citi and Capital One – are dangling the $100 bonuses and vying for new sign-ups to their rewards cards as the American consumer continues to become smarter about choosing the best rates and deals.

Record loan growth and declining delinquencies lifted Discover Financial Services to a net income of $513 million for the fourth quarter ending Nov. 30, a 47 percent jump from $350 million for the same period of 2010. The issuer of the Discover card beat expectations, boosted by a total loan growth of 17 percent to a record $57.3 billion

Mortgage delinquencies – borrowers 60 or more days past due – posted a 14.8 percent increase in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the same quarter last year, according to credit reporting bureau TransUnion. The national mortgage delinquency rate was 6.67 percent — a level marginally lower than the 6.77 percent rate reported for the first quarter of this year.

A new telemarketing sales rule prohibits for-profit companies that sell debt relief services over the telephone from charging an upfront free, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Starting Oct. 27, these companies must settle or reduce a customers’ credit card or other unsecured debit before collecting a fee.

Hurt by a big drop in trading revenue, Citigroup reported a 37 percent slide in second-quarter profit to $2.7 billion, or 9 cents a share, compared to $4.28 billion, or 49 cents, a year ago. Results topped Wall Street expectations of 5 cents a share, but a murky outlook pushed shares lower Friday for Citigroup, the No. 3 U.S. bank by assets.

Lower costs to cover bad loans helped Bank of America beat estimates with second quarter net income of $3.12 billion, or 33 cents a share, down slightly from $3.22 billion reported a year ago. But future uncertainty pushed financial stocks downward today as Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank ranked by assets, faces uncertainty in months ahead as Wall Street oversight reform takes hold.

U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 770,117 in the first six months of 2010 – a 14 percent increase over the 675,351 filings from the same period a year ago. The consumer filings for January-June of this year mark the highest total since 2005, when Congress enacted the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in an attempt to slow down the rate of filings

The auto loan delinquency rate – at least 60 days overdue – continued to slide in the first quarter of 2010, down to 0.66 percent, according to the credit reporting agency TransUnion. The delinquency rate fell 18.52 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009, and 20.48 percent from the first quarter of 2009.