What's in Your Mailbox?
Like every average American adult, I open my mailbox to find a credit card solicitation at least once a week. On many occasions, that credit card effort has come from Capital One. This financial services firm's persistence amazed me, until I realized it was pretty much playing a waiting game: "Mail her often enough, and the minute she decides to evaluate her credit needs it's a good bet she'll have a Capital One credit offer in her possession."
That's exactly the scenario that played out last October. I was in the market for a card with a lower APR and saw a great balance transfer offer on a Capital One Platinum Visa. I applied by phonequick, easy and painless. Soon after, my new card arrived. It was November 10.
While Capital One had won the waiting game, it quickly commenced a new gamewhose objective completely puzzled me. A week after receiving my new Visa, two credit-card acquisition offers from Capital One arrived on the same day. One of them caught my eye because of its unusual creative approach: A plastic-coated paper replica of a credit card is fastened over top of the flap on the front-opening envelope.
While I was a little surprised to find Capital One trying to sell me on the same card product I already had, I'm aware that lists for campaigns already being printed would have been waiting at the printing company or lettershop before my name was added to the housefileno chance for a merge/purge before these mailings dropped.
Fast forward a month. It's now December 18, and I've received seven more mailings for essentially the same Platinum card I have nowsome are for MasterCards and most feature different card designs, but all offer the same deal: a 0-percent introductory APR on purchases and a 2.9-percent introductory APR on balance transfers.
That's about one campaign a week from the time I became a Capital One Visa-card holder. I'm pretty convinced that it doesn't matter to Capital One what's in your wallet. The bank is more concerned with what's in your mailbox.
After loudly complaining to anyone who came within a few feet of my office about this waste, one colleague pointed out that Capital One might consider my new customer status a good predictor of my being interested in more offers of credit. But how many credit cards of the same type would I want from the same company? Credit protection services, shopping clubs and other add-on services make sense, but more credit cards? Why not increase my credit line instead?
If Capital One is hoping to help me dig myself into a big financial hole of debt, shame on it for being a bad corporate citizen.