Credit Card Junk Mail Decreases By 260 Million

The number of credit card offers clogging mailboxes took a nosedive in this year’s second quarter, 1.54 billion vs 1.8 billion for the same period last year. An aftershock of the credit crunch and sub-prime meltdown, the decrease reflects a shift in the banking industries thinking, trending towards higher standards from its borrowers than merely the fact that they are carbon-based lifeforms. A good way to take that number even lower is to register with and stop the tide of credit card offers almost entirely.

A Mailbox With Fewer Credit Offers [NYT] (Photo: largeprime. p.s. the cc#’s are photoshopped)


Edit Your Comment

  1. tedyc03 says:

    Glad to hear it. My shredder works less hard. Though I think we could have more easily said 260 million. :-)

  2. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    Charge it

  3. dohtem says:

    Thanks for that link!
    I had no idea it was even possible to opt ouf from those prescreened “You are prequalified” letters.

  4. whitefang2000 says:

    I would opt-out of those credit cards junk mailings but I like to get the 0% credit cards and pay them off a few days before they are due.

  5. djanes1 says:

    And I thought I was just special…

  6. stevejust says:

    Not only that, but the offers are getting way less attractive. I got one for AMEX platinum the other day saying I could have an AMEX platinum for only $450 a year. It used to be $300 a year. Needless to say, that got shredded.

    At $300 it’s not that bad an idea if you fly a lot, because it gets you access to all the airline clubs. I guess they figure that’s why they can charge $450 for it.

  7. mwwilk says:

    This is welcome news, although my personal experience is quite different. I get offers every day. One day last week, my wife and I hit the motherload — eight offers in one day!

    Here’s the tally:
    – GM Card (from HSBC)
    – A whopping FIVE offers from American Express.
    – Capital One No Hassle Card
    – Disney Visa (from Chase)

    I’ll use that OptOut web site for sure.

  8. hipersons says:

    the economist in me feels this is probably more a response to the hike in postage…

  9. numindast says:

    One thing is for sure. I am glad this credit crunch is finally affecting credit card companies.

    For one thing, I have stopped receiving “Low APR Checks” and “Low APR Balance Transfer Checks”. I was getting about 5 a month JUST from Chase! I think my shredder needs an oil change JUST because of Chase.

    I’m not going to hold my breath tho. WTF do I need balance transfer and low-APR cash advance checks for, when I (usually) pay off my balance every month, and don’t outspend my budget?

    OMG *GASP* *GASP* a consumer who doesn’t outspend his budget .. I expect to be coronated King of Fiscal Responsibility any day now .. since I am an American!

    /sarcasm off

  10. Islandkiwi says:

    I got three in the mail today. I think I will “opt out”.

  11. Etoiles says:

    I’m just so glad that the national economic meltdown has resulted in fewer student loan consolidation offers! A year ago I was getting 2 – 8 PER DAY. Now, I haven’t seen one since April. Ah, blessed relief!

    I still get one or two credit card offers per week, but this is also well down from the previous 8 – 25 of the heyday.

    Ah, silver linings.

    • hellinmyeyes says:


      No way, dude. I’m getting TONS of shiat from Sallie Mae offering mortgages, consolidation lines of credit, you name it, still several times a month. It’s not quite on your level of spamming, though, fortunately. I think I’m about to get into a pissing match with them soon; I just haven’t decided if it’s worth my time.

  12. Sam Glover says:

    I’ve noticed fewer card offers, and I am thrilled. I hate junk mail almost as much as I hate door knockers.

    • ClickClickThud says:

      @Sam Glover: Really? I cut up door-to-door hucksters and feed them to the neighbor’s dogs. It’s a great stress reliever at the end of the day.

    • Nighthawke says:

      @Sam Glover:
      [Frankenstein, Igor and Inga in front of HUGE castle doors]
      Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: What knockers.
      Inga: Oh, thank you doctor.

      (Al la Young Frankenstein)

      Couldn’t help it. ^.^

      Seriously, I’ve only gotten one or two from anyone with my rating. Guess they want the more desperate souls out there with 5 or 6 digit debt.

  13. brokeincollege says:

    Practically speaking, just keep a stack right next to your fireplace or charcoal barbecue (if you have one) or outdoor fire pit (if you have one) and use it has fireplace/barbecue/fire pit fodder. Of course, if you got those American Express offers, remember to take out the magnets that come with their offers. And to take out the plastic fake credit cards.

  14. usmcmoran says:

    my wife and i get them every day, usually the same ones from discover and amex, i called both opt out numbers and the automated machine wanted my date of birth, my social security number and my address (the one they are sending the mail to in the first place). i refused to give out anything other than my name and address hopefully we stop getting them.

  15. SacraBos says:

    I think this goes hand-in-hand with the previous article on bank failings. All this junk mail, and the resultant dependency on poor credit, late fees, and high interest, is part of the reason some banks have failed. Banks used to work for you, now they seem to work against you. They used to make money via interest and investment, not exploiting customers in marginal financial difficulty. Their very actions depend upon higher risk customers, then using Universal Default to further jack up the risk.

    Now it seems like whenever you hear a bell, some banker is pulling the wings off an Angel.

  16. DamThatRiver says:

    I remember the days when it seemed like I got an offer for various Chase cards in the mail EVERY DAY. Can’t say I miss that one bit.

  17. hellinmyeyes says:

    All the offers I ever got were for really unattractive cards, maybe even ones you would consider are low-credit-worthiness type. Only one time did I ever get a card I really felt looked worth applying for (prime + 1% fixed rate). It almost makes me think that if they want me that badly, they’re not worth going with.

    On the other hand, I’ve applied for a couple specialty rewards cards on my own and never gotten turned down. I’d think that a lot of this has to do with prescreen opt-out and maybe identity theft protection that has opted people out from this sort of thing. My mum loves the shredding I bring home after my “offer basket” is full, though. Supposedly it helps her garden.

  18. ChelseaCosta says:

    It hasn’t decreased. It finally upgraded to 2.0: The Web.

    Who’s running this show anyway?

  19. mike says:

    I didn’t know I could opt-out. Just finished my registration and mailing in my perminate request! Save yourself the hassle and mail that bad-boy in!

    BTW, You can call your credit card company and tell them to stop sending you checks. I did that a long time ago and haven’t seen one since.

  20. Starfury says:

    I got a Lowe’s card for the 10% discount because I was buying $900 worth of tile and other stuff for a remodel.

    Then it began…the pre-approved credit card offers from Chase.

    Not 1 a day….not 2 a day but 3-5 every day for WEEKS! Not just to me but my wife as well. My poor shredder was getting a serious workout. I called the number and it’s some sort of automated system which I’m not going to use.

    What the CC companies need to figure out: If I want a CC I’ll contact them.

  21. theblackdog says:

    I notice I only get an offer about once a month now for a credit card, whereas it used to be weekly. Still, the offers are not good enough to justify getting another one. My last credit card I applied for was at USAA, and they didn’t have to send me junk mail to get my business. I just couldn’t beat prime + 3.9% and 0% on balance transfers for a year.

  22. HogwartsAlum says:

    I wondered why the flood of card offers had slowed down.

    I don’t like to opt out of everything, though, because people send me catalogs in the mail and I like to get those. I love to sit on the couch and mark stuff I want and pretend that I have money.

  23. quirkyrachel says:

    I used that Optout site and I’ve definitely seen a decrease in the number of ads I get. I still get some, but not nearly as many as before.

  24. RobinB says:

    So that’s why my dog hasn’t been getting all those pre-approved credit offers lately.