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Citi offers clog mailboxes

By Janna Herron ·
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Posted: 4 pm ET

Did you get a Citi credit card offer this summer? I bet you did.

The credit card issuer mailed out 346 million card offers to consumers in North America from July through September, the most of any other company, according to results of Synovate's Mail Monitor, which was released early to The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal said that was enough offers for every single lady, gentleman and kid in the United States.

Seriously, every third offer was probably from Citi, the paper found. And the company probably spent around $240 million to get the offers through snail mail.

I wonder if it was worth it.

The timing may seem odd to some. Americans have been paying down their credit card debt since the Great Recession unleashed its financial horrors a few years ago. So, who's ready to sign up for another card and start charging again?

(True, there was a slight uptick in credit card debt in the second quarter of this year, according to some accounts, but that coincided with $4-a-gallon gas prices. Generally, consumers are paring down what they owe to creditors.)

The article noted that the head of Citi's credit card business in North America (who was wooed from AmEx last year) said there may be opportunities as other credit card issuers refrain from such a marketing blitz.

The company also said it is concentrating its efforts on more affluent consumers.

This comes as Citi enhances old cards and debuts new ones. Last month, the company started rolling out corporate cards with EMV microprocessor chips that are popular overseas. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, which developed the technology.

In July, it introduced its Citi Simplicity card that features no late fees, no penalty fees and one single interest rate for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. Earlier that same month, it unveiled its Citi Executive/AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard to attract well-heeled, globetrotting consumers.

So did you get a Citi offer this summer? And more importantly, did you sign up?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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E Lewis
September 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I received 20+ one every 2-3 days, the same dang offer. A Waste! At least it will keep the post office in business.

September 22, 2011 at 7:10 am

I didn't get one, and no, I wouldn't have signed up even if I had received one.