Credit Union, Radio Station In Joint Credit Card Promotion

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In what could be the first partnership of its kind for the credit union industry, First Service FCU has teamed up with local radio station CD101 to promote its new VISA card, which awards listeners points that can be exchanged for concert tickets, movie passes or monthly auction items such as T-shirts, jewelry, autographed CDs, a jukebox and even a car.

"We've been told we're the first credit union in the country to land this type of deal," said Gena Perkins, FSFCU manager, of the Affinity Card created just for CD101 listeners.

She said FSFCU President Jack Harper developed the promotion after being approached by radio station personnel, who just happen to be members, as well.

"This partnership brings added value to the listeners and advertisers of CD101 while introducing the many benefits associated with the credit union membership to the residents of Central Ohio," Harper said.

In the few weeks since introducing the card via radio station advertisements, the CU newsletter and in-house posters, several applications have been made and, since the card is solely for CD101 listeners, Perkins said it would be easy to track the promotion's success.

The credit union underwrote the cost of the program and the card itself-lime green plastic that carries the radio station logo. The credit union said the card is priced competitively. In exchange, FSFCU gets promoted via the radio, onsite events, both partners' websites and a radio station ice cream truck often winds its ways through the CU's FOM.

"They will also come to our functions," Perkins said. "We're getting a lot of exposure."

Employees at CD101, which plays alternative music, said their philosophy coincides with that of the credit union industry. They support community events, charitable causes, the arts and the environment, according to CD101 Internet Sales Manager Shelby X. Hunt.

CD101 Lounge members receive a 5,000 Lounge Point bonus upon approval. They also earn a point for each dollar spent at locations accepting Visa and three points for each dollar spent at Triple Point Partners. In addition, the radio station gives points to listeners who participate in daily Lounge Tips on 101.1 FM, then enter a password at its website within a specified time frame.

FSCU has $73 million in assets. Founded in 1956 to service military and civilian personnel of Lockbourne Air Force Base, it was granted in 1999 the largest community charter ever approved by the NCUA up to that point.

The Affinity Card is among several credit cards offered by the CU. Perkins said since the charter change, the CU has grown by $28 million at a "selective" and "very monitored" pace. Among its growth methods was to add a lot of e-services and check cards, she said.

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