When I hear that on my America Online account, that usually means "You've got spam." Would it mean the same for mail via the U.S. Postal Service? Well, you be the judge.
I look at the first envelope. It says:
Financial DocumentsWell, that's a good sign ... not! No return address. I turn the envelope over and see an address on the back:
FOR ADDRESSEE ONLY
504 Virginia DriveI
Fort Washington, PA 19034
don't recognize that one. But I open it anyway. Or start to. There's
something inside. It's about the size and shape of a credit card, but
not as firm. Well, that's just great. I open it anyway.
You're pre-qualified.* Your credit is good with us!
Well, isn't that special. It's a Chase EquityCard. And Annette M. Voellinger, National Call Center Manager, wants me to call her. She even gives me her telephone number: 1-800-222-2800.
But I better hurry. At the bottom, it says
Reply Before The Expiration Date 11/28/2005Well, I sure don't want to miss this wonderful opportunity to put the house up as collateral on a credit card.
What's In Your Wallet?
Oooh! A big envelope from Capital One. And it's got a card inside.
What's this? The card is embossed with "BASIL'S BLOG" on it? I look at the sender's address again.
CaptialOne | small business
P.O. Box 85149
Richmond, BA 23295-0001
I open the envelope and read the enclosed letter:
Since you are a valued Capital One cardholder, you can now request a Visa® Business Platinum Card with No Hassle MilesSM from Capital One.®
It goes on and on. And I wonder how they got my home address associated with this little blog? I need to research that. Oh, well. Enough of the letter from Mr. Pat L. Wright, Director of Small Business Lending. And no, Pat, don't expect me to call 1-888-304-2632. Nor with I go to www.mycapitalonecard.com and fill out a form.
But thanks anyway.
First PREMIER Bank
The third evelope is the best yet. It's from:
D. Nicholsan, Senior Credit ManagerAnd Mr. Nicholsan, or "D." as his friends call him, tells me there are two ways for me to get my very own Gold MasterCard. He even included one for me to see. It's so pretty. It's black and has the word GOLD on it.
First PREMIER Bank
P.O. Box 5526
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5526
One of the ways is to call him today at 1-800-688-4921. The other way is to enclose the "Approval Document."
"D." even wrote me a little letter about this wonderful opportunity. But it looks like his caps lock was stuck.
But the best thing about the offer from "D." was the terms of the account.
That's not too bad. A little higher than some offers, but still, not too bad. I keep reading. There's a section called "Fees for issuance or availability of credit" and another section called "Other charges." These ought to be fun.
Account Set Up Fee: $29.00 (one-time fee)Just to set up the account, they'll charge me $29.00.
Program Fee: $95.00 (one-time fee)I'm not sure what program this is, but it's obviously worth $95.00.
Annual Fee: $48.00Ah, they'll hit me with this year after year.
Participation Fee: $72.00 annuallyWhy this is different than the annual fee is beyond me. But the fine print tells me it's billed at $6.00 per month.
Additional Card Fee: $20.00 annually per cardThat's in case I need more than one card to spend all the credit that's being extended.
Credit Limit Increase Fee: $25.00The fine print says "Each time your Account is eligible and approved for a credit limit increase, a $25.00 fee is imposed." Notice it doesn't say anything about my requesting a credit limit increase, just when I'm eligible and approved. If they periodically decide to review my account and decide to up my limit, they sock me with a fee.
What I really like about these kind of offers are the fact that if some poor soul returns this form, they'll likely be approved for the minimum credit limit of $250.00.
Add up the fees ($48 + 95.00 + $29 + $6) and you find your balance is $178.00 before you ever use your card. Heck, before you even get your card!
Which means that those poor souls that get the minimum credit limit have an avalable balance of $72.00 and not the $250 they expect.
Boy, I'd love to hear that phone call to the customer service department when the person goes to Wal-Mart and can't buy groceries, or tries to fill up a large pick-up truck at the Shell station and is declined for being over limit.
Enough Of The Day's Mail
That's all the mail I can stomach for one day.
I wonder if Norton or McAfee make an attachment for the mailbox?