Junk mail madness

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I opened the mailbox today to find two items. One was a bill for my American Express card. The other was an offer to sign up for the American Express card. You would think that they would cross-reference the lists of people that they are soliciting with the list of card members.

I get so many of these credit card offers in the mail that the shreder is a familiar sound after the mailman arrives. But since I don’t carry a balance on the card I do have, why would I want another?

This got me to thinking: what sort of list am I on and how do I get off it?

It turns out that the way the credit card companies work is this. They rent a mailing list and send that list to the credit bureaus for pre-screening. The credit bureau then returns a list of people that have a good enough credit rating. This scrubbed list is the one that the card companies send their offer letters to. The good news is that the credit bureaus have banded together to create an opt-out list. If you want your name to not show up after the list is scrubbed, you can call 1-888-5OPT-OUT, give them your name, address, and social security number, and you will be removed from the lists.

When I called, I had two options. One was to have my name removed from the lists for two years. The other let me remove myself permanently. There’s also a way to add myself back on if I want.


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