card managementMembers love perks. Feeling like they're getting something extra can be a great incentive to sign up for just about anything. If your credit union offers a credit card,  consider what kind of extras you can offer, in addition to interest rates, that will bring members to you instead of going for their airline miles or rewards credit cards. There is no shortage of reward options, so you need to stand out with a better carrot and stick than the rest. Here are five best practices to make sure your rewards program is a success.

  1. Tell People About the Program.

    If you're not advertising your rewards program, it might as well not exist. Ideally, you should create a marketing schedule for the entire year including postcards, emails, signage, social media posts, and calendar related promotions. Define your promotional time windows as well. For example, if you're offering a balance transfer promotion, be crystal clear on the dates it's available and the dates the transfer must be complete by. Clarity in your marketing on the specifics from the outset will help you avoid member frustration.

  2. Show Members How to Get the Max Benefit.

    You're telling them the program exists, how to qualify, and what they get as a result. But, you also need to teach prospects as well as current cardholders how they can get the maximum value from the program. This can include education on leveraging debt, APR, or improving credit score and, ideally, you can tie it into effective use of their other CU assets like checking accounts and loans. Showing that you really can offer a full financial solution, from banking to loans to credit cards, helps you establish value beyond what a single program can offer.

  3. Target Ideal Members.

    Your CU has a wealth of transaction data that can be analyzed to help you determine the members that will be the most responsive to your credit card program. A great place to start is the share draft account transfer record. If there are ACH payments going to big banks regularly, you can see who might be more likely to be interested in credit cards. This audience could likely be put into a targeted campaign that ties in messaging for balance transfers specifically since you can tell they are likely to be carrying debt. 
  4. Customize Rewards to Your Local Membership.

    Part of the CU difference is a level of involvement in the community. Bring those local connections into the credit card rewards by partnering up and offering local merchant redemption of points. Other options would include cash-back redemption or charitable donation redemption options that go to local charities. Making your rewards unique to your area can help you stand out. 

  5. Assess and Learn from Your Existing Credit Card Users.

    If you're in month three of your marketing strategy and you're not seeing a boost in your program, it's time to investigate how members are using the card to identify opportunities for alternate offers. For example, if many members have the card, but it doesn't seem like they're actually using it, perhaps a promotion of double points on purchase could incentivize them.  

Credit card programs are great way to diversify your CU services, but the competition is stiff so be sure your program has rewards your members want and that they know it. 

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Topics: Credit Card Processing

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