Rewards keep credit union cards ‘top of wallet’

As demographics change, consumers’ card reward preferences also shift.

by. Patrick Totty

Rewards programs aren’t just important aspects of credit union card programs—they’re the “No. 1 driver of which card tops a wallet,” says Annie Cox, director of loyalty solutions at PSCU. “They are essential marketing tools for differentiating credit unions from their competitors.”

Consumers seem to agree. “The average American household is enrolled in 21 different loyalty programs but is actively engaged in only six,” says Andrew Gates, director of strategic partnerships at RewardsNOW. “About 60% of credit cards are attached to a rewards program, but that accounts for 80% of what people spend.”

Gates says credit unions should give members a wide range of options in their rewards programs—typically travel, merchandise, gift cards, or digital content.

Beyond variety, says Barney Moore, manager of portfolio consulting services at CSCU, consumers look for four main things in a rewards program:

  1. Value. Is there a genuine return?
  2. Relevance. Is it relevant to their lifestyle and shopping habits?
  3. Personal. With the rise of social media, is it tailored to their needs?
  4. Ease and convenience. Is it easy to redeem points?
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