Lenders increase number of credit card offers

In an effort to draw more consumers into taking on credit card debt with regularity once again, many of the nation’s top lenders have increased the number of offers they sent out in the first three months of the year.

New data from Mintel Comperemedia shows U.S.-based credit card issuers sent out 1.4 billion offers for new accounts in the first quarter, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. That’s an increase of 69 percent from the same quarter in 2010, when 826 million offers were mailed out.

The majority of the offers – 60 percent – were for cards with some sort of incentive such as rewards points, and nearly two-thirds went to homes with an annual income of more than $75,000, the report said. However, despite the recent surge, offers still haven’t reached the pre-recession levels of 1.8 billion seen in the fourth quarter of 2007.

For a while, many of the nation’s major credit card lenders were cautious about granting even the most reliable consumers new credit card accounts, as the recession caused a huge uptick in the number of defaults and delinquencies they experienced.