Newport Beach, CA – Ever wonder how it is that you receive so many offers in the mail? If your daily pile of mail looks anything like mine, it is likely littered with offers for credit cards, 3rd party car warranty programs, home loan refinancing, reduced car insurance premiums, etcetera. The good news is, you can stop these solicitations — or at least the majority of them.
Credit card companies are notorious for purchasing consumer information from the credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Here is how it goes down — First, the credit card companies decide they are going to do a large direct mail campaign. Credit card companies vary in the type of consumers they target. They then contact the credit reporting agencies requesting names and mailing addresses of consumers fitting a particular profile or demographic. Advertisers understand how to get to their target audience. Ever notice all the Ford F-150 and beer commercials while watching football on Sundays?
Capital One is not afraid to spend money on advertising and direct mail. Evidenced by them being willing to pay top-dollar to “A-List” celebrities to do TV commercials: Jennifer Garner, Alec Baldwin, and Samuel L. Jackson for example. They also are not afraid to drop huge amounts of dough on direct mail to their target audience. What does this mean? Capital One will spend millions of dollars on market research effectively studying the financial behaviors of consumers. They will purchase the information (from the credit reporting agencies) of consumers that have between a 600 and 640 credit score. Why do they choose this range of credit scores? Their research shows that these consumers are most likely to max out their credit card and make minimum payments for the rest of their lives — perhaps at 30% interest! Typically 600-640 consumers will pay their bills on time, but are relatively lax with their spending habits. Jackpot for Capital One.
American Express will usually only purchase lists of folks that have 700+ credit scores. American Express is offering mainly “charge” cards as opposed credit cards. Charge cards rarely have a preset limit and are typically paid off in full each month as opposed to credit cards with the option of carrying a balance into the next billing cycle and paying interest. American Express is targeting higher credit score, lower risk consumers as this best suits their business model. Amex makes the majority of their money off of the annual fees they charge their users, not on interest.
Experian, Equifax, and Transunion are getting rich selling your information to anyone with a checkbook and a product or service to sell. As a result, your mailbox is being stuffed full of junk mail and countless hours are being spent feeding your shredder.
Is there a way to stop being targeted? Yes! Go to OptOutPreScreen.com. This will essentially put you on the “Do-Not-Sell-List” and when the credit card company (or insurance company, etc) requests a list of consumers falling into a range of behaviors or scores, you won’t show up on that list. Because of the ongoing cat and mouse game, credit card companies and other advertisers are finding ways around the opt-out list. OptOutPreScreen.com will at the very least significantly reduce the amount offers finding your mailbox.