Credit card mailing offers increase in Q4 2009

Creditors are increasing the volume of their mailings in the fourth quarter of 2009 Consumers who have been so good at consolidating debt in recent months should beware, as card mailing offers are back in full force and will likely not be too appealing to many.

According to the latest Synovate Mail Monitor, credit card mailings during the fourth quarter of 2009 increased substantially compared to the prior quarter, increasing 46 percent to 398.5 million offers to end the year.

Even with the increase, the Q4 2009 figures didn’t even come close to the 668.1 million offers that were mailed to homes one year earlier during Q4 2008.

According to Anuj Shahani, the director of competitive tracking services for Synovate’s Financial Services Group, the considerable year-end increase in offers was due to creditors’ attempts to adjust their business model in preparation for new rules that go into effect this month.

"The CARD Act, as well as the continued effects of the credit crisis and the slow-to-recover economy, has caused major anxiety to both consumers and businesses," Shahani said. "The timing of this legislation is questionable as it has been thrown at us at a time when we, as a nation, are already experiencing financial difficulties and aren’t in an ideal position to face additional headwinds."

Additionally, consumers may want to beware of any offers received from creditors, as they may not be the best offers available. The average purchase price APR for offers mailed out were 13.51 percent, the highest rate recorded by the monitor in the last five years.