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How to Stop Getting Preapproved Credit Card Offers in the Mail
June 2024
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How to Stop Getting Preapproved Credit Card Offers in the Mail

We’ve all been there. You open up your mailbox and see a big stack of mail and you’re excited to open a fun package…only to discover that it’s mostly credit card offers that you didn’t even want. Ugh!

Credit card companies send unsolicited mail (and email) because it’s a tried and tested proven way for them to recruit new customers. But the good news is, you’ve come to the right place if you want to know how to stop getting credit card offers.

But first, let’s discuss how these companies find you in the first place.

How Credit Bureaus Sell Your Information

The three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, have a dirty little secret—they sell your information to credit card companies. Here’s how it works:

  • Credit card companies build criteria for the type of customer profile they want (e.g., demographics, income, hobbies, etc.).
  • They share the customer profile information with the credit bureaus.
  • The bureaus create lists of people from their databases who fit that particular set of criteria and sell them to credit card companies.

Voila, the next thing you know, you receive unsolicited credit card offers in your mailbox.

How to Opt-out of Credit Card Offers

There are several ways to stop getting credit card offers. First, you can…

1. Opt-out Online

Go to OptOutPrescreen.com. That’s the official credit bureau opt-out site. Follow the simple instructions to fill out the form. You can either choose to electronically opt-out for five years or permanently opt out by mail. If you want to opt-out forever, you must fill out a form, sign it and mail it to them.

2. Opt-out by Phone

If you’re not comfortable using email, you can also opt out by phone by calling the national credit agency opt-out number at 888-567-8688. You will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth (DOB). Have no fear, it’s safe to share your personal information with this agency.

3. Stop all Direct Mail

There’s also the option to halt all marketing mail that attempts to sell you a product or service. In other words, you can go beyond stopping just credit card offers. To do so, go to the Direct Marketing Association website — www.DMAChoice.org — or call (212) 768-7277.

The Pros of Opting Out

There are many advantages of opting out:

  • If you’re just not interested in applying for a new credit card, your life will be simplified without having to deal with these offers.
  • You can cut back on paper waste.
  • You may wish to apply for a new credit card, but prefer to do so online instead of by mail.
  • Finally, by opting out, you limit your exposure to identity theft. Identity thieves are known to go through trash, specifically looking for credit card offers. It could take you months or even years to discover such identity theft, especially if you don’t regularly monitor your credit by using a professional service, such as IDShield.

The Cons of Opting Out

  • If you opt-out, you may not learn about other credit cards for which you’re qualified. Some people view this information as important because they like to stay current with the latest credit card offers and what’s happening in the marketplace.
  • You may be depriving yourself of attractive, exclusive rewards and terms, like shopping points that translate into tangible savings.