As perhaps a sign of a reviving credit market, more than one billion credit card offers entered our mailboxes in just the third quarter of 2010. That’s practically triple the amount that was received during the same three-month period last year, according to researchers at Mintel Comperemedia. The top senders of credit card mail were Chase, Citi, American Express and Discover.
For the average consumer, this can be pretty frustrating. For every credit card solicitation I get, that’s more time at the shredder. The good news is you – just like you can opt-out of telemarketing calls – you can opt-out of pre-approved credit card offers in the mail. I recently discovered this, after personally seeing my credit card-related mail soar in 2010.
Here’s how it works. According to the FTC, consumers can opt out of credit or insurance offer for five years or permanently by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or by visiting OptOutPreScreen for the details. You’ll need to provide some personal information, including your name, number, social security number and date of birth. The site – which is powered by the major credit reporting bureaus – promises to keep your information confidential and that it will only be used to process your request to opt out.
Keep in mind this may call for some team work. If you have any joint credit accounts with a spouse or partner, you both need to opt-out. Otherwise you may still receive some solicitations from those creditors in the mail.