Card issuers showing confidence, says Mintel Comperemedia’s Andrew Davidson
Chicago (November 19, 2009)–The latest tentative sign of economic recovery? Credit card direct mail volume is back on the rise. Mintel Comperemedia, a service that provides direct marketing competitive intelligence, says issuers sent 180 million credit card offers to US consumers last month. This is the highest monthly total tracked since December 2008 and it’s the first significant rise in mail volume all year.
October 2009’s number represents a 34% increase over the 134 million credit card offers sent during September 2009. In the face of tight credit markets, increasing government scrutiny, and high unemployment and consumer debt, card issuers have drastically reduced marketing direct mail efforts since the middle of last year.
Andrew Davidson, SVP of Mintel Comperemedia, comments:
“Credit 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.”
Mintel Comperemedia reports that October’s month-to-month increase in credit card direct mail is the highest recorded since February 2004. Andrew Davidson adds that “this is significant because direct mail rebounded from the 2001 recession in early 2004. Then of course, we saw mail volume reach unprecedented peaks in 2005/2006.”
This past month, Chase and American Express sent the most credit card offers. Each issuer had its most active mail month this year, as Chase more than doubled mail volume from September 2009 and American Express sent nearly 40% more offers. US Bank and HSBC (October’s seventh and eighth top mailers, respectively) likewise had their greatest mail months of 2009 to date.
“Some credit card issuers seem to be holding back on direct mail in preparation for the next wave of CARD Act implementations. Once these issuers establish their marketing strategies, I expect they’ll return to the mailbox. This will help drive increases in credit card direct mail next year.”
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