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Anthrax fears did not slow down the volume of credit card mail solicitations as card issuers dumped an all-time monthly record of card offers in the mail during October. Approximately 477 million solicitations for credit cards were sent to U.S. households during October, up sharply from September’s total of 394 million solicitations and August’s 405 million level. According to BAIGlobal’s ‘Mail Monitor’ direct mail tracking service, 82% of American households received card offers in October, compared to 78% in September.

‘Mail Monitor’ also measured the U.S. average response rate at 0.6% percent for October, the same rate as September, and slightly up from the 0.5% measured during October 2000. BAIGlobal says it expects the number of solicitations for the full year of 2001 to top four billion, setting an all-time high. The proliferation of low-ball interest rates and the introductory marketing of smart cards appears to be a major driver of the increased mailings, despite the weak economy.

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