All Members Moved To Platinum Cards

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Seeking to boost outstanding balances in its card portfolio by one-third before year-end, Empire FCU has rolled out a new card promotion offering a 1.99% APR on balance transfers for new cardholders and instituted a new rewards program.

It has further looked to cut expenses by moving all of its Visa credit cards to the Platinum platform. The goal is to increase outstanding balances from $14 million to $21 million by the end of the year.

"Our current strategy is to attract new cardholders with a low rate on balance transfers, maintain our current cardholders with an attractive rewards program and move our product to top-of-wallet by offering a Platinum card," said VP-Lending Bob Padula.

The credit union has reported the balance transfer promotion netted it almost $1 million in outstanding balances to date and is being offered through PSCU Financial Services' Balance Consolidation Solution. Similarly, EFCU has adopted the CURewards program from PSCU Financial Services, offering one point for every net dollar in credit card purchases. Points may be redeemed for airline tickets, cruises, car rentals and other travel opportunities as well as a wide array of merchandise items.

PSCU Financial Services reported it will offer its second CURewards Sweepstakes, where cardholders at 136 participating credit unions will have a chance to win a grand prize of one-million points and nine other point-based awards.

"We expect that the combination of a Platinum card, a rewards program and a chance to win up to 1 million points will convince our members that our card deserves to be the primary credit card," said Padula.

Empire Federal said that transferring all cardholders to a Platinum tier card simplifies all operations from processing the application to ordering cards and posting payments. "With the changes in minimum credit line rules, we opted to reduce our operating expenses and offer all of our members a Platinum card," he said.

Interest rates vary from 8.9% for cardholders with the highest credit scores to 15.9% for cardholders with the lowest scores. Existing cardholders will receive a new card in the mail.

"Building and promoting a credit card program requires a concentrated effort like the one launched by Empire FCU, but the rewards of an attractive return on investment and a closer relationship with members are clearly worth that extra effort," said Brian Crawford, Chief Marketing Officer, PSCU Financial Services. He added that the company offers both consulting services and programs to help member credit unions maximize the performance from credit card programs.

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