PETERBOROUGH, N.H. — Bank credit card growth last year outpaced credit union card growth for the first time since 2007, a figure cards experts say indicates much tougher competition is ahead for CUs, especially around rewards.

While CU executives and analysts have recognized that banks have been coming back with stronger credit card marketing for more than a year, growth in bank outstandings now clearly shows that banks are back, said Tim Kolk, owner of cards consulting firm TRK Advisors.

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