DMNews reports that direct mail volume in the financial services sector is down dramatically–as much as 25 percent for 2008 from the 2007 levels. However, there were some growth areas, such as reverse mortgages and reward programs. In the fourth quarter of 2008, Synovate reports that 72 percent of credit card offers were reward or rebate offers, up from 63 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007. “This is a result of an increase in mailings for co-branded airline cards, such as the Citi/AAdvantage American Express card and the Chase United Mileage Plus card,” said Andrew Davidson, VP of competitive tracking services at Synovate. “In November, the big issuers basically pulled back from mailing everything else, and the only offer they mailed was for co-branded airline cards.”
In other credit card news, American Express is offering a $300 incentive for select customers to cancel their accounts. AMEX is offering those who are contacted via email or mail a $300 prepaid card that can be used anywhere AMEX is accepted as long as they pay off their entire balance by the end of April. Enrolling for the offer will automatically cancel the customer’s credit card whether or not they pay off the balance. AMEX also states, “If you are a Blue from American Express or Optima Card Cardmember and enrolled in the Membership Rewards Express program be sure to use any points before enrolling.” Because once your account is gone, so are your points.