New Wave of Credit Card Offers Target the Affluent

If you're looking for a credit card, many of the big banks are offering them right now with competitive dealsbut there's a catch. Many of the promotions are targeting the rich, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Credit card companies in the U.S. mailed out 1.4 billion offers for new cards in the first quarter of 2011, according to Mintel Comperemedia. This is up 69% from one year earlier, at 826 million a year. Of those sent out in this time period of 2011, 59% offered incentives, up from 30% during the same time period of 2007, Mintel reported.

Limiting these promotional card offers to wealthy consumers who werent bankrupted during the recession offers a layer of protection to these banks, the WSJ reports. Many of these cards are being offered to those with credit scores of 750 and up on an 850-point scale.

For example, Chase is offering its Continental One-Pass Plus card with an immediate offer of 25,000 frequent-flier miles and the possibility of an additional 10,000 miles if the consumer charges $25,000 a year.

Capital One is offering double miles on all purchases made with its Venture Card, and new customers can get 25,000 frequent-flier miles when they open the card. This is an increase from 10,000 miles. The WSJ also reported that interest rates can be up to 10 percentage points lower for consumers banks consider desirable.