If you’re receiving credit card mail offers, it means credit card companies have decided you might be a good match for one of their products. It doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed approval if you respond, although your chances are very good. And it definitely doesn’t mean you already have an open account. Legally, credit card companies can’t issue you a credit card unless you formally apply for one.
Before responding to a credit card offer that you receive in the mail, make sure to do a bit of research. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell how good the offer really is. In particular, see how its rates, fees, rewards and other benefits compare to those offered by similar cards that require the same credit standing for approval. If you get an offer in the mail for a credit card that requires good credit or better, you can take it as a sign that you should be able to qualify for other credit cards for people with good credit.
You should also look closely at the wording of any credit card offers you get in the mail. This will give you a good sense of your approval odds. You’ll find the different options and what they mean below.
Here are the different types of credit card mail offers:
Invitation to apply: These offers are based on your demographics (e.g. zip code and housing status) rather than your credit history. The approval rate is between 10% and 40%.
Preselected: Preselected offers are based on your credit history, but indicate the issuer needs more information. The approval rate is 70%.
Preapproved: Preapproved offers come when an issuer does a basic review of your credit and thinks you are a good fit for the card. The approval rate is 90%.
If you don’t want to receive credit card mail offers, it’s easy to opt out. Just go to Optoutprescreen.com and provide your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth. You’ll be able to opt out for five years or permanently. And if you change your mind, there’s an opt-in choice on the site as well.
You can learn more from WalletHub’s guide on preapproved credit card offers.