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Card Mail

While the sheer volume of credit card offers in mailboxes increased nearly 8% in the first three months of this year, Americans are not responding. Of the 1,284.7 million solicitations mailed in the first quarter, only 0.4% responded to the offers, compared to 0.9% one-year ago. According “Mail Monitor,” the direct mail tracking service from Synovate (formerly BAIGlobal), an average of 73% of households received 5.3 credit card offers monthly, during the first quarter. Reward and cash rebate offers grew 75% during the first three months of this year to 376.5 million. During March there were 473 million solicitations mailed, the highest monthly total since November 2001. MINTEL’s Comperemedia previously reported that direct mail volumes for credit card offers increased by 36% in February, compared to January, with an estimated 347 million offers sent out, the highest monthly volume since October 2002. Direct mail credit card offers declined 12% last year to 4.3 billion after peaking at 5.0 billion two years ago, according to Synovate. The mean APR for offers during the first quarter was 8.99% compared to 9.99% one year ago. But, during the quarter some issuers were offering rates as low as 3.99%.

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|_2. First Quarter Direct Mail Historical |
|_. 1999:| 832.1 million |
|_. 2000:| 629.4 million |
|_. 2001:| 1,208.3 million |
|_. 2002:| 1,214.2 million |
|_. 2003:| 1,186.2 million |
|_. 2004:| 1,284.7 million |
|_2. Source: Synovate Mail Monitor |

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