Reports: Credit Card Mailings, Late Fees Rise

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Credit card mail solicitations in the United States increased in 2002, two recent reports found.


Households received about 1.22 billion credit card solicitations in the third quarter of 2002, up from 1.17 billion in the 2001 third quarter, according to Synovate, the market research company formerly known as BAI Global.


Mintel's Comperemedia, a media monitoring service, reports that credit card direct mail rose 10 percent in 2002 over 2001. Balance transfers were part of the package in 60 percent of all acquisition offers in 2002, Comperemedia said.


And there was a trend last year to offer the balance transfer rate for 12 or more months. More than 70 percent of balance transfer offers were for 12 or more months toward the end of 2002, compared with 30 percent to 40 percent early in the year.


Comperemedia also found that while the majority of cards offered have no annual fee, late fees have risen steadily. In the start of 2002, late fees were generally $11 to $20. Now most are $31 to $40. The report found that many issuers also raise their late fees as the balance amount increases.


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