All Cards are Not Created Equal

APL FCU in Maryland leveraged the CARD Act to teach their members about responsible credit card practices. They’ve seen new outstanding card balances triple from the year prior.

The members of APL FCU ($286 million in Laurel, MD) were using their credit union credit card less and less, and the Maryland-based financial institution was concerned. Its one credit card was plain vanilla one variable rate tied to the Treasury (currently 7.5 percent), no annual fee, no cash advance fees, no transfer fees. To reinvigorate card use, APL launched a multi-channel marketing effort that included a postcard mailer to 30,000 residents who lived within three miles of a branch.

The credit union prominently featured a credit card promotion on the front page of its website and coupled the promotion with a FAQ entitled All Cards are Not Created Equal. The FAQ explains the implications of the new CARD Act regulations for existing and perspective members and summarizes new CARD Act regulations, highlights different aspects of the law that might impact members other credit cards, and clearly explains the little to no impact APL FCU card holders will experience from the new legislation.

We’ve received great feedback about the FAQ, says APL marketing director Kevin Marvel. Our members were relieved to hear their APL FCU credit card won’t really be affected by the new CARD Act regulations and they won’t have to deal with the hassle of changing terms or credit lines.

If other credit unions are in a similar situation with their card offerings, publicize it, Marvel suggests. With so many card issuers cutting available credit lines and raising rates ahead of the new laws going into effect, it really gives us as an industry an opportunity to promote responsible credit card practices. At APL FCU, we’ve gotten great traction by going out to the market with a card that is already compliant with the new regulations.

Hear more about APL’s rejuvenation of their credit card in this CUtv clip.

April 22, 2016

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