After experiencing a year of significant shocks to their systems, credit card operators are poised to once again increase ad spending spending. In 2009, the industry has been plagued by bad press surrounding high interest rates which coincided with a time of overwhelming personal indebtedness and rising unemployment across the country. But credit card companies ranging from American Express to Chase have increased their mailing significantly in the past month, according to Mintel CompereMedia.
The research firm says that about 180 million U.S. consumers received credit card offers in October 2009. This volume compares to the 134 million offers made in September 2009.
According to Andrew Davidson, SVP of Mintel Comperemedia, "[c]redit card mail volume is still down significantly from a year ago, but October's sharp increase is an excellent sign for the industry. With recent green shoots of economic recovery, card issuers feel more confident about the future. I anticipate that this winter will mark the start of a turnaround in credit card direct marketing that will be sustained through 2010. This could very well be the beginning of the end for credit card direct mail declines."
The new credit card offers are well-timed for consumers who want to make purchases for the 2009 holiday season and who feel more optimistic about their personal financial situation for next year. Davidson also indicates that credit card issuers will be releasing large mailings in 2010 with respect to the CARD act. New provisions which are due to take effect next year require lenders to refrain from a number of historical practices that hiked fees and interest rates for borrowers. As lenders increase their mailings to explain their new business standards next year, they’ll likely use the opportunity to market their services to clients as well.[Source: Mintel CompereMedia release, 11.19.09]