Soaring Gas Prices Leads To Rebate Promo

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FinancialEdge Community Credit Union here is easing the pain of rising gas prices for members who use their credit union credit cards at the pump. The community-chartered credit union launched a three-month promotion June 1 that offers a 5% rebate on gas purchases made with FECCU's Platinum and Classic VISAs.

"We've seen a good increase in the number of plastics and the usage went up as well," said Pam Swope, marketing manager at the $52-million FinancialEdge, which serves 8,500 members. "And we gained back some members who weren't using our card as their primary card."

Swope said the management team came up with the promotion during discussions about how to beef up the CU's credit card portfolio.

"We were deciding whether we wanted to offer a points card (redeemable for merchandise) or a cash rebate," she said. "We thought this is something that everybody can appreciate."

Gas prices for her hour commute to work every day peaked at $2.80 per gallon that week, Swope said.

The promotion was announced using a full-color advertisement in the local newspaper. Lobby and ATM posters were also created to enhance visibility. And, Swope said, all members with CU credit cards received postcards about the promotion in the mail.

She said it didn't hurt that a local television news station recently picked up the promotion.

While the numbers haven't been calculated yet, Swope said she expects they will show great success. Already, there is discussion on what to do next. "We are talking about keeping the promotion going, but decreasing the amount of the rebate to 2% or 3%," she said.

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