VattenÃ© wrote:Interesting, I didn't even know they did that. Even when it is addressed to me personally?
They don't bother me; actually I kind of like seeing what I get, to be honest. It would be awesome if I got one from Amex that was better than the standard offer, but I'm sure there's a snowball's chance in hell of that happening (if they even do that sort of thing). After I finally pull the trigger, I may look into freezing my credit. I don't see anything else even interesting me remotely at that point.
When credit card companies send out marketing offers, it's usual practice to do something like this:
1) pick zip codes or census tracts or state that have general demographic data matching your product. That can be all sorts of things, from income level to education level.
2) Ask credit bureau for a list of name and addresses that meet some other criteria of your product, in that zip/census tract/state. Something like "credit score between 650 and 720, who has a recent auto loan, but not a mortgage."
3) filter it against some other data. That can be "remove people who are already our customers", or "only people who subscribe to Sport Illustrated", or all sorts of other things.
So, yes, if you live in the wrong zip code, you may never see an offer for a fancy card, if it's a poor zip, while someone across town with the same sort of scores gets them, because he lives in the rich zip.
Credit card companies also do more targeted offers. I got one from Amex the other day. I forget the details, but it was roughtly "twice the cash bonus for signing up, the lowest interest rate on offer for the card, and a zero percent period something less than we're advertising for others". (Amex, of course, knows a lot about me because I have cards from them, and I've told them recently how much I make.) I'm also getting Chase Marriott solicitations, which so far have been the same as the advertised offer, but list my existing marriott point balance. (Chase know as much or more about me than amex does.)
Another thing that card companies do is have a series of offers. For instance, when I got my amex blue sky card, I got a series of mailings, offering (the point equivalent) of $200 for signing up and meeting the spend, then $300, then $400. Then a pause, and the $200 offer again, followed by the $300 offer, and then the $400. That's when I applied. I got the card and a $500 offer in the same day's mail. It took a fair amount of sweet talk to get them to give me the better offer.