Do companies still send unsolicited credit cards?

Part of my job involves sending out replacement debit cards. People are constantly telling me that they threw them away or destroyed them, thinking they were unsolicited credit cards. Do banks even do that any more? I’ve never gotten a card, just “pre-approved” offers for them. With all the identity theft I’d think that sending out cards would be nothing other than a ginormous mess for the issuing banks.

The offers I receive aren’t even pre-approved, they are “pre-selected”, whatever that means. I always wanted to write them back and tell them how delighted I am, and please contact me when I am finally selected.

I don’t get actual cards that I can use, but I very often get fake cards that look and feel like real cards, only where my name sould be it says “YOUR NAME HERE” and where the num should be it says “CALL 1800GETCARD NOW.” Although now that I think of it … usually the cards are very visible through a window on the envelope, and cards from my actual bank for my actual use are very hidden.

Thinking they’re junk is a stupid excuse, though. I assume the cards you send come from the bank/company the people have been dealing with regarding their cards. I open all mail from companies I knowlingy do business with. Half the time it’s spam half not. But if I didn’t, I’d be out on a $800 refund check from my mortgage company (who sends about 90% spam).

People are just dumb.

I’m going to say most likely not (since this is in IMHO). To send out unsolicited credit cards would mean that they did not run a credit check. (Companies need permission to run a credit check). I’d wonder about the longevity of a company that would send out unsolicited cards without a credit check as they’re opening themselves up to some severe problems in recouping money.

Most credit card companies only run credit checks on a small fraction of their customers prior to issuing a card.

You’ll need to provide a cite for that statement. I’ve never heard of any such thing.

I didn’t think banks were allowed to send out unsolicited credit cards any more.

Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s they started sending out credit cards to everyone and their brother. IIRC Johnny Carson’s dog got one, and he (Johnny) displayed the card on the Tonight Show. The problem was that with so many cards going out, a lot of them got stolen from mail boxes and used, and then the banks started holding whoever’s name was on the card responsible. So, Joe Shmoe, who never has had a credit card in his life and doesn’t want one, all of a sudden owes the bank $10,000 in charges that he didn’t make. A lot of rules were put into place because of all of this abuse, and I thought that the unsolicited card rule was one of them.

I got an unsolicited, pre-approved card when I was 21. It came to my parents house, although I wasn’t living there any more. It said, “You can start using your card immediately,” although you also had to return the form. It was a very big thing in the late 80s.

And don’t worry about the financial health of those lenders. They just have congress change the laws whenever it looks like they’re going to have to write off too much bad debt.

I think the request for a cite is rather cute. When the credit card companies actively recruit college students, do you think they are actually going to bother with a credit report?

I have gotten a couple in the last couple of years. I don’t know if they were 100% legit or not, but they did come with my name on them and if they were not they sure did look it. I thought one said that all I had to do was contact them to start it. I use them when I travel in a second wallet. This way if someone tries to rob me they can have the fake crap.

Yes, the late 80s. The world of credit has changed a lot since then.

Yes. Why do you think that they’re not going to run a credit check? And I think it’s cute that you can spread ignorance so cavalierly. Wait, no. I think it’s stupid.

The only type of credit cards that will not require credit checks are going to be very secured cards that one has to deposit the sum of their credit limit plus fees on top of fees to the point where it’s pretty much a debit card.

Back to the OP, California, for instance, has a civil code which states:

Oh, I dunno. Maybe because a very large percentage of college students have a credit score of zero? Meaning that they effectively have zero credit. I personally received 3 credit cards in the mid-nineties prior to developng any credit score.

I am in no way speading ignorance. My father is the president and CEO of a bank. Though all banks require you to allow them to pull your score (when applying for a card), they do not always do so. Your California cite does not refute this.

Oh, here’s an article which supports my position:

And another:

Or here:
While it is clear that under 15 U.S.C. § 1642 a credit card issuer cannot send anunsolicited credit card(… And here’s acite of that law).

You should’ve stopped at “I dunno” because it seems that facts like to allude you.

Sure you are.

No shit, I didn’t say it did. In fact I said “back to the OP” which is where I was addressing the original question at hand which does buttress my opinion with, get this, facts. :rolleyes:

Now you’re just being a jerk. I know the way the industry works, even if you are unwilling to believe it. Despite the fact that “you have never heard that”, I am not spreading ignorance. In no way does lack of a cite = ignorance. I suggest you disregard my posts from here on out, though I don’t expect you need me to tell you that at this point.

I see that now, jerk. My apologies.

Yes. Two months ago my mother got one sent to her with the embeded security circuitry even. The mail sorter didn’t like the security device, because it had hung and chewed through some metal tracings.

The fact that your daddy is the CEO of a bank does not make you an expert.

Spreading ignorance? You did it right here:

That’s just wrong, seeing how credit scores don’t go to zero. Here, have acite.

In other words, the answer is no, but at one time it was so common that the federal and state governments had to pass laws against it. Otto’s clients aren’t up on the latest developments in finance law. They probably should be more careful if they’re waiting for a new EBT card, but what can you do?

Where did I say I was an expert? Nice use of the term “Daddy”, by the way. Should I be offended?

Yes, I’m well aware of that. However, many people use the term “zero credit score” to mean that there is so little activity on a credit report as to effectively have no score. My term may have caused confusion, and for that I apologize.

It’s currently illegal to send out unsolicited credit cards – however, the wholesale sending out of unsolicited preapproved credit card applications isn’t much of an improvement, given how ridiculously lax the issuers are about confirming that they were filled out by the intended recipient (rather than a crook who intercepted it from the mailbox).