Consumer Payment Card News

Lighter Mailboxes

If your mail is running a little lighter this year it might be related to the 67% decline in credit card offers sent out in the first three months of 2009. The sharp drop follows a 55% decrease in the fourth quarter and a 20% decline in the third quarter of last year. For the full year of 2008 there were 3.8 billion credit card solicitations mailed, compared to 5.2 billion in 2007. According to Synovate’s “Mail Monitor,” U.S. households received 372.4 million offers during the first quarter, compared to 1131.6 million offers received during 1Q/08. The market tracker found that direct mail offers carrying an annual fee rose from 18% in 1Q/08 to 27% in 1Q/09. Also, fee based cards now reflect an increasing proportion of both reward/rebate and non-reward/rebate card solicitations. In the first quarter, 24% of reward/rebate offers carried an annual fee versus 18% in the first quarter of 2008. At the same time, 42% of non-reward/rebate offers carried an annual fee versus 19% in the prior year.

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