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Credit card offers = junk mail?

By Janna Herron ·
Monday, October 17, 2011
Posted: 3 pm ET

How often does a credit card offer end up in the proverbial round file in your house?

One study by mail manager Catalog Choice found that almost two-thirds of people surveyed never opened credit card offers. Of course, the survey polled its customers, or Americans who are diligent about managing their mail, and the results don't necessary reflect the habits of the average Joe.

Still, credit card offers polled poorly among its other mailbox competition. The survey showed people opened coupons the most often, followed by circulars, catalogs, donation requests and, last and definitely least, credit card solicitations.

The impact of credit card solicitations on the recipients wouldn't make a marketing manager smile, either. The survey showed that 4 out of 5 Catalog Choice customers had a negative or very negative perception of issuers that mail credit card offers.

"I think part of it has to do with volume of mail," says Chuck Teller, executive director of Catalog Choice.  "The volume is significantly higher than the other types of mail."

Teller noted how Citi papered mailboxes nationwide with 346 million offers in the third quarter of this year, the most of any credit card company. That was according to a Synovate study released early to the Wall Street Journal. An analysis by the newspaper at the time calculated that was enough for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

A fellow Bankrate reader commented that he received more than 20 offers from Citi during that time -- the exact same solicitation came every two to three days. He didn't say whether he opened up the offer, let alone signed up, but my bet is he didn't.

Still, the Catalog Choice study found that 8.2 percent of the 2,200 customers surveyed always opened credit card offers.

"That's actually a good number in terms of direct marketing," Teller says.

If you're interested in eliminating credit card offers from your mailbox, go to the website to opt out.

So what makes you open a credit card offer?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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December 08, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I take out any material that has my name on it, stuff the rest into the reply envelope they provide, and mail it back to them.

Ronald Joe Stade Fritzl
November 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm

need information about credit card from me with terrible credit. pls help. my email:

Ronald Joseph Stade Fritzl
November 10, 2011 at 11:56 am

please help me!

Ronald Joseph Stade Fritzl
November 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

Where can I have the best credit card offer for persons with bad credits?

my email:

October 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm

They all are ripped or shredded. Do not read them, maybe open them to make it easier on the shredder.

October 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

The same offers come flooding in... 3 x per week the same Citi offer, once a week a Chase [some new kind of name] card offer, once every other week another Chase [another some new kind of name] offer, BofA and US Bank every other week or so, and then some other gold diggers with repeated mailings. And that's in addition to balance transfer offers.
You'd think that after half a year no response to an offer they'd stop wasting their paper. No. Even return to sender doesn't work, they just keep on sending. But the more they send, the less I am inclined to get "their" card. I don't want to deal with stalkers. And I guess once they've got you, you're stuck with the same customer "service" and 1-800-thankyoupleasewait numbers as anywhere else.