Saying it was seeking to meet the travel needs of its members, United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) has launched VISA Platinum Access, which gives cardholders access to more than 400 VIP airport lounges globally via Priority Pass, with no limitations on airline or ticket class.
UNFCU said the introduction follows a survey of members (UN agency employees, their families and retirees globally) that found that not only do they travel more frequently than the general population, but 62% also prefer to incur an annual fee to obtain VIP airport benefits. Approximately 40% of UNFCU members travel by airplane at least four to 10 times per year; nearly 10% take 11-17 trips annually.
The credit union is offering a three-month 0% introductory APR and an 8.9% variable APR thereafter, with credit limits of up to $100,000 for eligible account holders. The $1.6-billion UNFCU will also pay for up to four VIP lounge visits per year per account.
United Nations Federal said the findings run counter to the results of a separate study conducted by Michelson & Associates of the general membership that showed an overall preference (55%) for a cash-back (1% of annual purchase) rebate. Only 5% of those in the general CU population wanted travel enhancements.
UNFCU members either permanently reside or are stationed in 220 countries.
The credit union said initial member response to the new VISA product has been strong, with more than 100 online applications received during the first five days of the card launch, which also included a sweepstakes promotion with direct mail targeting households earning in excess of $75,000.