Show Them The Money … Or Airline Miles … Or Loan Discounts … Or …

This week, spotlights payments strategies designed to reward loyal and community-minded members.

After an exciting final three minutes of Super Bowl XLIX, the Patriots walk off the field as victors. And the Callahan Bowl once again throws its support behind the losing team, making our record 3-8.

It might not pay off to bet on football games based on credit union performance data, but it does pay off to read this week. That’s because we’re spotlighting payments strategies designed to reward loyal and community-minded members.

This week’s features underscore how credit cards are increasing in consumer popularity. If you want to be competitive, you must be prepared. Start by taking a look at our Graphic Of The Week, 5 Trends To Watch In The Credit Card Space. Then check out our features outlined below for inspiration.

Creating awareness on a limited budget is one of the biggest challenges small businesses face. That’s one reason Rogue Credit Union started its Buy Local program, a network of area merchants that offer discounts to Rogue members for using a credit union-branded card. The program has helped make Rogue’s cards more popular as well as promoted small businesses via online promotion and organic word-of-mouth. To lean how merchant discounts made Rogue Credit Union’s credit and debit cards a must-have shopping accessory for Oregon consumers, read How Rogue Credit Union Posted 12.6% Growth In Its Credit Card Portfolio.

At the end of November 2014, local businesses across the country receive a boost in purchase activity as a result of Small Business Saturday, but many institutions support small businesses via payment programs that run all year long. Vermont State Employees Credit Union gives more grass-roots spending power to members through its discounted credit card rate for in-state purchases. Learn how you can, too, in Swipe Local And Save.

As we roll into 2015, credit card-issuing credit unions might be experiencing a sense of djvu. With credit loss levels at record lows, consumer spending rising, and card program profitability at record highs, the card market has become maniacally competitive again. Major banks have emerged leaner and with card portfolios largely purged of high-risk accounts. As a result, they are marketing more, offering better card products, and working to capture more market share. Learn more about the state of the credit card market and opportunities for the coming year in Recharge Your Credit Card Program In 2015.

Finally, the desirable cardholder rewards and benefits of premium signature credit cards are shifting consumer expectations as to what a credit card relationship should look like. Their popularity has also moved institutions such as Illinois-based BCU to expand their own cardholder standards.

Consumers are savvy and more attuned to the value of rewards than ever before, says Mike Fox, director of lending project management at BCU. Cardholders in this segment are highly engaged and highly profitable.

Learn how BCU engaged this segment of its membership in The Benefits Of A Signature Credit Card.

The year is just starting, and no one knows what amazing and confusing plays will happen late in the fourth quarter to totally change the game. But one thing for sure, you can’t win if you don’t play.

Happy Reading!

February 2, 2015

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