Credit card direct mail up in Q4 2009: Mintel

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Credit card-related direct mail volume jumped during last year's fourth quarter. It was the first increase in three years, although the total amount of credit card mail pieces pales in comparison to pre-recession amounts, according to research from Mintel Corporation released January 28.

Credit card-related direct mail increased 47% during the final quarter of last year, compared to the previous quarter. However, the total number of mailed credit card offers sent in 2009 was 66% less than in the year before.

Chase increased its credit card mailings by the largest amount – 87% - over Q4 2008. US Bank's mailings were up 64% over the same period of time, according to Mintel.

Last year's total of credit card mailings was below 2 billion, far less than the annual amount of 7 billion the category saw from 2004 though 2007.

More than one in three (36%) of credit card offers sent in 2009 included an annual fee, compared to one-fifth (20%) in 2008.

Andrew Davidson, SVP of Mintel Comperemedia, said in a statement that the findings are a good sign for the economy “because it shows issuers gaining confidence and taking a more positive outlook towards gaining new cardholders and reducing delinquencies.”

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