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Signs of Life in the Credit Card Industry?

While most mailboxes are enjoying a respite from the daily deluge of credit card offers, major credit issuers are clearly still interested in dropping big bucks to pursue one type of consumer - those with top-notch credit and big-time spending habits. I've seen ads everywhere lately for premium credit cards, such as the new Visa Black or Chase Sapphire card, and it's no secret their marketers are hitting mailboxes around the country pretty hard as well.

According to a recent press release from Comperemedia, a firm that tracks direct marketing strategies, credit card issuers continued last year's trend into the 2nd quarter of 2009 by cutting their direct mail offers to consumers "as a whole by 8%." However, of the offers that were delivered, they also sent "28% more offers for premium cards than they did the quarter before."

Some industry experts believe this is a positive sign of life in the credit card market and that more robust marketing to all consumers will soon follow suit. 

But while it might be a positive thing there's at least some competition and innovation going on to attract new customers, I think it's safe to say small businesses and the average consumer are still in for a long dry spell before credit issuers come knocking on their doors again. For now, it's simply in the banks' best interest to focus on developing low-risk products for affluent consumers that will produce guaranteed revenues from annual fees.  The "patent-pending" carbon Visa Black card, at a cost of $495 bucks per year, shouldn't let them down.


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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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