NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Everyone gets credit card offers in the mail. Most people either fill them out when they need a card or throw them out when they don't. But how can you really evaluate which credit card offers you’re getting in the mail are worth junking and which are worth applying for? We spoke to some credit card experts to get you the quick and dirty on whether or not you should apply for the card or throw it in the recycling bin.
Do Good Credit Card Offers Come in the Mail?
One question a lot of people ask is whether or not they’re going to even get good credit card offers in the mail. The answer is yes, but... they still might not be the best offers for you. Jason Steele, a credit card expert with CompareCards.com, points out that a lot of times, what you're getting in the mail isn't random at all. "The credit industry is very interested in what they call 'targeted offers,' he said. "You might even get a better deal than publicly offered cards."
Mike Sullivan, director of education with Take Charge America, notes that "credit card companies are selective." What this means is that they buy lists of consumers to help them better market their products to the appropriate people. "If you have bad credit, there’s no need to apply for a higher-end credit card offer you get in the mail," he said.
The bottom line? Go ahead and apply, but only after you’ve spent some time doing your own due diligence. Look around. See what other offers are available. Particularly in the age of the Internet, it shouldn’t take you a lot of time to poke around, see what else is out there and compare apples to apples.
"I haven’t found any offers that come in the mail and aren’t available from other sources," says Sullivan. "Even if I get a good offer in the mail, I usually look online and find a better one."