Pre-approved Credit Cards
(Note: These tips pertain to the industry cited above and do not necessarily track our experience with the company in whose report they appear. In particular, industry complaints referenced below are typical of the industry as a whole, but not necessarily every company in the industry.)
When evaluating a credit card solicitation, determine whether the offer is from a bank that actually issues regular credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard, or from a company that will only assist you in applying for a credit card. The BBB advises caution when considering any credit card offer that requires you to pay a fee before you can learn all the details of the offer. Some pre-approved credit card offers provide you with a list of banks that offer secured credit cards if you agree to open a savings account with the bank issuing the card. Other pre-approved credit card offers provide you with a card which can be used only to order merchandise from the company's catalog. If you purchase a certain amount from the catalog, the company will then assist you in applying for a Visa or Mastercard. These companies cannot guarantee that you will receive a credit card since they do not issue the cards themselves. On this kind of offer, the BBB recommends that you examine the catalog before paying a fee.