Three ways credit unions can enhance their credit card programs

Credit card programs are one of many areas where the credit union difference shines. Credit unions generally have lower interest rates and a responsible reputation, based on the comparatively low industry delinquency and charge-off rates reported by CUNA. It’s no wonder CU share of the market of revolving credit has almost doubled in the past decade (Federal Reserve’s G.19 Report). 

Has your credit union been part of this growth? Whether it has or not, taking time to regularly review and update your credit program can make the difference for you and your members. Below are three ways to enhance your credit card program and attract higher participation.

1 – Strengthen Your Rewards Strategy 

Start pumping up your strategy with customized programs. Investigate possibilities like cash-back or charitable donation redemptions. Develop relationships with local merchants that offer redemption options. Don’t stop there! Travel rewards offer many options beyond traditional credits including free travel accident insurance and other perks like airport lounge access, late hotel checkout, and more. 

Review how you manage your programs. Do you set firm dates for promotions? Deadlines encourage members to take action. From our own experience with balance transfer promotions, we’ve noticed many instances where 50% of the transferred funds came in during the last two weeks of the campaign.  

2 – Energize Your Marketing Efforts 

Achieve better focus by creating an annual marketing calendar. To reach new age demographics, concentrate on digital marketing efforts. By including financial tips and news on your site, you can reinforce your credit union’s reputation as a valuable resource. Keep your members updated with emails that address their specific needs. Many platforms exist that can help you gain insights into members’ interests and send them relevant messages.

3 – Create Symbiotic Relationships – What Benefits Your Credit Union Can Also Benefit Your Members

If you want to attract members to your credit program, few things are more important than a good rewards strategy, but challenges like interest rate caps, program costs, and fraud can make offering a competitive rewards program difficult. Fortunately, cost-free referral programs specially designed for credit unions are available. They handle the implementation process for credit unions, from underwriting and printing to delivering the plastic and managing the accounts. They even offer zero liability and monitoring to help protect against costly fraud. By reducing some of the costs and burdens, these partners help empower credit unions to offer competitive credit programs.

A prime example of a credit card referral program providing high-levels of service to credit unions is the EZ Launch program offered by LSC®. No set-up fees and free marketing materials are only the start of what it offers. EZ Launch pays credit unions for referring the program to members! Is your credit union looking for a new provider or considering offering a credit card for the first time? Check out EZ Launch from LSC, where members benefit from competitive interest rates and a quality rewards program.,_Letters_and_Testimonies/2019/Letters/2019%20CFPB%20Credit%20Card%20Market%20Review.pdf

Phil Seely

Phil Seely

Phil is the Senior Director of Portfolio Development for Envisant having joined the Illinois Credit Union System in 2011 from Fidelity National Information Services. He has been working with credit ... Web: Details