It was an exciting week of news in credit cards, as five high-profile issuers made the headlines in one way or another. Top-tier card issuers American Express and MBNA America Bank announced a first-of-its kind alliance. Former top-tier issuer Capital One Financial came one step closer to being top-tier again, and subprime specialist CompuCredit Corp. closed a transaction backed by loans it acquired from Providian Financial.

The biggest news for investors was that Capital One had officially redeemed itself with its regulators by announcing that its memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been terminated. When the nonbinding agreement with regulators was announced in July 2002, the MOU had a wide-reaching impact on the entire credit card sector, which at the time, was trading at its all-time richest levels.

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