Credit Card Offers by Mail on the Rise
Does it seem like you are getting more credit card offers in the mail? It is not your imagination.
According to the research company Mintel, direct mail credit card offers are on the rise, and the perks they come with continue to be attractive. Up-front cash bonuses, airline miles and 0% balance transfer offers are all coming in the mail, trying to lure you into applying for yet another credit card.
Mintel’s research reveals a 22% increase in direct mail credit card offers between 2011 and 2012. In the second quarter of 2012 alone, there were over 1.1 billion offers sent through the mail in America, the highest volume since 1.3 billion offers were sent in the fourth quarter of 2011.
These offers seem so enticing, but consumers need to first decide whether they even need a new card. If there is no pressing need, then do not be tempted by the offer.
Secondly, don’t just look at the big print and the attractive offer in the headline. Make sure you study the terms and conditions of every offer you consider. That is where the details of the card are outlined and it’s important that you study those terms.
Finally, look at the long term results of having this card, not just the immediate gain. Based on your financial habits and discipline, will this card be a benefit for you or a financial burden. For instance, one card may offer you 0% balance transfer fees for six months, which means you can move a balance from another card over to this new one. But, if you don’t pay off the balance in that six month period, you may end up paying a much higher interest rate on the remaining balance than you would have with your existing card.
Remember that credit card companies are ultimately looking out for themselves. Rather than immediately applying when receiving this direct mail piece, it is up to you to carefully analyze the pros and cons of any tempting offer. Take the time to compare credit cards the right way and you will end up with a much better deal in the long run–guaranteed.