If USAA Federal Savings Bank executives had any initial doubts about going into the credit card business in 1984, they were quickly dissipated by the results of the thrifts first attempt at direct mail.

A pre-Christmas mailing of 240,000 preapproved applications to military officers from the client list of the bank's parent, the United Services Automobile Association, resulted in about 125,000 new credit card accounts in less than two months.

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