The signs of the holidays are all around us. The weather has changed, pumpkin spice has been added to everything imaginable, and your mailbox is bending under the weight of catalogs – and unsolicited credit card offers.

Credit card solicitations certainly aren’t limited to the holidays, but the intensity of offers tends to pick up during this time because your spending tends to pick up. The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that holiday retail sales will approximate $730 billion, excluding typical purchases like dining out and filling your gas tank. What retailer or card issuer wouldn’t want a piece of that spending pie?

Most credit card solicitations are pre-approved or pre-screened offers, where the card issuer has done a cursory check of your credit already – without your request or knowledge – and considers you low risk. (These are different from pre-qualified offers, where you have agreed to provide credit information to lenders in order to shop for …

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