Credit Cards

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Nonstop Snail Mail Credit Card Offers from Discover and Capital One

If I had the ability to convert all the paper used to print and mail all the offers of credit sent to me by Discover Bank back into trees, I would be able to build myself a small forest, no doubt.

The folks @ Discover are obviously very aggressive marketers, and I really have no problem with aggressive marketing (it's the American way, really) but enough is enough! I get a new snail mail credit card offer from Discover at least once a week, and it's just too much. Same goes for Capital One: Capital One has been sending me snail mail offers for a business credit card on a regular basis even though I already have a business credit card issued by them! That kind of waste in not acceptable.

The folks @ Discover are offering some of the best zero percent balance transfer and intro APR deals in the credit card market today; e.g. 2 days ago I received a 0% into APR balance transfer offer from Discover that has an interest free period on transferred balances that lasts until April of 2007 (with a "go-to" rate of 9.99%.) That's a great deal, and I am the king of transferring credit card balances, but I won't risk another rejection by Discover. Allow me to elaborate.

I don't believe that the folks @ Discover Bank are a bunch of scammers, but they really need to clean up their offers. In the most recent snail mail offer I received from Discover Bank, the letter begins:

Dear [Me],

On your journey to financial success, there are markers that clearly show your progress. I'm pleased to announce you have reached on of these milestones. You're Pre-Approved for the no-annual-fee Discover® Platinum Clear Card and these superior benefits:

0% intro APR. Receive a 0% APR on purchases until September 2006. Save with our low 9.99% APR thereafter. Plus, save even more when you transfer your higher-rate balances to our 0% APR until April 2007...

The bold in the above quoted text is not my own embellishment, that's how the text appears in the letter.

Ok, now the thing is, this is the same (or very similar) introduction I read in a previous offer of credit from Discover, an offer that looked really great. So I applied, and even though my FICO credit score was near-elite in status, and even though I was "pre-approved," the folks @ Discover rejected my application! The guy on the phone said something about a derogatory item on my credit report, but I found that very hard to believe because:

a) I've haven't been denied an offer of personal credit in this century--literally; car loan, credit cards--you name it: I've been approved.

b) I check my credit report with all three credit bureaus on a regular basis, and I know that there are no derogatory items.

Pre-approved? Ha!

It's a shame that Discover rejected my application, because every rejection looks bad on a credit report (I was able to transfer my target credit card balance to a Citibank zero percent balance transfer offer, but the Discover rejection still looks bad.) So now I have to cool my balance transferring jets for a while so as to give my credit history some time to absorb the Discover rejection.

I've noted a prescreen, opt-out notice on the latest Discover credit card offer, so I am going to call and get myself off their mailing list on Monday (FYI: the number is 1-888-567-8688.) I'll report here again when the offers stop coming, which I am hoping will happen soon.

I'm curious about the kind of support offered with a Discover credit card. If you have one, please post your comments about the company, especially if you've had any experience with Discover support. Thanks!

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