Free Auto Club Memberships Help Drive Loan Traffic to Peninsula Credit Union

“We see the program as a tremendous value to our members. We think it’s a great way to offer an incentive to members, and we’d definitely consider running it again.”David Hughes, Peninsula Credit Union vice president and chief marketing/information officer

Auto buyers are often concerned about whether they can afford a new vehicle, which makes credit unions’ low loan rates especially attractive. And after they drive off the lot, buyers really don’t want to worry about flat tires, mechanical breakdowns or little things like getting locked out of their new car, which makes auto club membership a valuable option.

So what would happen if a credit union combined lower rates with a free one-year subscription to a roadside assistance program?

“We’ve seen a bump in our typical numbers,” says David Hughes, Peninsula Credit Union’s vice president and chief marketing/information officer. “We’ve already enrolled more than 50 Auto Club members, and we remain busy making loans. Our intent is that this program becomes a long-lasting value for our members, giving them one more reason to keep their business with Peninsula Credit Union.”

Peninsula dropped its rates in October to as low as 2.60 percent, and then coupled those rates with free one-year memberships to the Credit Union Auto Club. The credit union promoted the benefits of club membership through its newsletter, on its website and with in-branch advertising.

“We also promoted it during our Membership Appreciation Day,” says Hughes, who isn’t sure which drove more traffic—the low rates or the free club memberships. But “members were certainly excited about the benefit, so it was probably a combination.”

In any case, he says, “we saw this as an opportunity to differentiate ourselves from our competition.”

Peninsula is one of the first credit unions in the U.S. to use CU Solutions Group’s new online portal for the Credit Union Auto Club. The portal allows credit unions to purchase as many as 100 club memberships in one transaction, with a $10 discount off the price of each membership. Participating credit unions still receive an annual marketing reimbursement for the memberships they purchase—even if they give them away.

“If a credit union enrolls in the program and actively markets it to members, the credit union could earn $5-$9 per membership,” says Crissandra Fry, Northwest business consultant for CU Solutions Group. “That’s why Peninsula immediately saw the value in linking the Auto Club to its loan promotion.”

Credit Union Auto Club connects members to a network of more than 38,000 vendors across the U.S. and Canada. The 24/7/365 service includes roadside assistance, tow and lockout service, fuel-delivery service and flat-tire repair reimbursement. The club also covers emergency ambulance and travel-interruption expenses, as well as legal fees related to a traffic accident or traffic-court defense.

Promotional rates range from $37 for a yearly individual membership to $81 for a family of six—significantly less, Fry says, than similar plans from AAA.

“We see the program as a tremendous value to our members,” Peninsula’s Hughes says. “We think it’s a great way to offer an incentive to members, and we’d definitely consider running it again.”

To learn more about the Credit Union Auto Club or to enroll in the promotional membership program, go to www.LoveMyCreditUnion.org/CUAutoClub or contact Crissandra Fry at Crissandra.Fry@cusolutionsgroup.com. Learn more about Peninsula’s promotional efforts from David Hughes at 360.426.1601 ext. 3133 or dhughes@pcfcu.org.

 

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

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