In One Year Family Gets 445 Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers

Over the past 12 months, for most of us those little non-descript envelopes which contain credit card solicitations aren’t showing up in our mailbox as often. However this doesn’t appear to be the case for a Chicago-area family. They decided to save all their credit card offers they received in the mail over the course of a year. The result? 23 lbs of wasted paper, over 445 different envelopes containing credit card applications. Whether it was an airline reward card, 0% balance transfer credit card offer, or virtually any other type – it was all there.

The father and husband of the family, Gary Silbar, observed that the biggest peddlers were Chase, Citi, and Amex. In fact, roughly 25% were from Chase alone. In the third quarter of 2008 there was a 28% decline in credit card offers when compared to the year before.  However that still leaves over 1.34 billion card offers that were mailed out during the third quarter this year. The difference is that now, creditors seem to only be targeting those with the best credit, like the Silbar family.

And what did these banks get in return for spending several hundred dollars on sending the Silbars these credit card offers? Absolutely nothing – no new card signups. No wonder the banks are broke when they’re wasting money like that!

 
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I read something today that was quite upsetting. It reads: “Rewards and terms may worsen for some. Bankers threatened to water down rewards programs and eliminate grace periods entirely, meaning that even those who pay their balances in full would owe interest starting from the day a purchase was made.” So I tried to contact Chase and get an email address so I could inquire if they planned to adhere to “. . . interest starting from the day a purchase is made.” Does anyone out there know of any new “rules” from Chase? We never carry a balance and have a $7,000 limit.

Wow! And we wonder why Americans struggle with debt? I’m sure these offers work for the credit card companies, that’s why they keep sending them. But for many people it’s like adding fuel to the fire. Being a marketer and consumer I struggle with the ethics behind their motives.

As Trevor suggests it must cost them millions to send out all these Pre-approval letters – is it really cost effective!?, as I’m sure the ‘sign-up’ to ‘put in the trash’ rate is really quite low.

IMO, these sort of mailings should all be on recycled paper by law too.

I USE TO GET SO MANY OF THESE CREDIT CARD APPLICATIONS IN THE MAIL BUT NOW I ONLY RECEIVE TWO OR THREE A MONTH. MY CREDIT HASNT CHANGED EITHER

I never respond to these credit card offers in the mail. They are a waste of money. I learn much more reading up on the internet about credit cards than any generic sales pitch letter can teach me.

you know maybe we wouldn’t have to pay so much interest if the credit cards didn’t waste their money on crap like this- they could pass the savings onto us

Now THAT is too many!