Pursuing differentiation and the affluent cardholder

It’s no surprise that card issuers are pursuing the affluent consumer with their credit card offerings. These cardholders generally contribute 60% more spend than non-affluent cardholders and their monthly spend is 3.6X greater than cardholders with traditional credit cards. Therefore, these consumers are spending and transacting more frequently, which equates to higher revenue for the issuer.

With the positive economic environment, credit card spend has already increased, and affluent consumers will be encouraged to use their cards more often. According to PYMNTS.com “Issuers, and the bankcard networks supporting their cards, therefore have shifted their attention to affluent sectors of society to grow their transaction and sales volumes, and they continue to do so today.”

Credit unions are no different than the big issuers and should be looking at their membership to see if an affluent card makes sense for their market. Not only will it help to differentiate the portfolio, but it will also help the credit union align and compete more effectively with the big issuers in the marketplace. As noted in a recent TPR article titled “Offering a Rewarding Experience with Affluent Cards”, Maps Credit Union designed their affluent World Card product for frequent travelers to attract a whole new demographic of cardholders that they were missing with their current card product offering. In this article, Toni Silbernagel, the VP of Consumer Lending at Maps Credit Union, stressed the need to market and bring attention to the new product and not just launch it and let it run on auto-pilot.


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