Falling credit card debt causing lenders to introduce incentive programs

Falling credit card debt causing lenders to introduce incentive programs. As more people across the country are paying off their credit card debt, it is forcing lenders to more aggressively pursue new accounts.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, credit card companies haverecently begun to roll out new incentive programs in an attempt to entice new accounts and poach consumers that keep their balances with competitors. Lenders have also started marketing those new programs rather aggressively.

The report said that Discover Financial Services is increasing its marketing budget for the third quarter to levels not used since the same period of 2008, and Chase launched its new "Ultimate Rewards" program with a nationwide ad campaign earlier this month.

Fortunately for consumers, the new rates they get for opening or switching their account to a new lender will have to last for quite awhile. The new Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act requires all lenders to maintain introductory rates and incentives for at least a year. Banks will also have to give significant notice before they can change those offers.