Credit Card Rewards — Where’s the Value?

Strategic Link partner, Member Access Processing, weighs in on the future of credit card reward programs and how credit unions can adapt to keep members engaged.

9/29/2020

Today, nearly 225 million credit cards offer rewards, such as hospitality and travel points, which for card holders, may not be redeemable for many months or even years to come, according to Mercator Advisory Group. For credit unions that rely on rewards to attract and retain members, it’s time to consider the adjusting credit card programs to the new economic realities.

Research from Deloitte shows that the credit card market, while still profitable, is changing.

Credit unions will see success in revisiting their value propositions and reworking their approaches to meet members’ changing needs and expectations as they reconsider their credit card use. Member Access Processing (MAP) can help in this effort. The Strategic Link partner offers credit unions industry-leading, full-service debit, credit, prepaid, ATM, and mobile solutions.

The team at MAP says there’s no doubt members are still expecting generous rewards, but moving forward, they’ll likely want rewards that are more than just points for spending on a card; they’ll want to be rewarded for their relationship with the credit union.

Loyalty Programs are the Future

For some credit unions, this is an excellent time to introduce a next-generation loyalty program. Loyalty programs have multifunctional tools that can drive multiple key performance indicators (KPIs) for credit unions’ services.

At a credit union, loyalty should be about emotional engagement — creating new touchpoints that engage members outside of the buying cycle. Credit unions can show that they care about their members and want to them to learn more about the cooperative.

This means making rewards available for every member based on their points or status, such as priority credit services, zero-fee services, welcome gifts for new members, bonus points for different types of engagement, and other perks.

Even moving a fraction of travel-type cards to a credit union’s card could equate to tens of thousands in new revenue. Upheaval in the market is the perfect opportunity for credit unions. As the saying goes, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” While other credit card issuers have been challenged by the pandemic and economic downturn, credit union have opportunities to introduce rewards programs that will grow their credit card portfolios.

With the right mindset and fitting loyalty technology, credit unions can ensure they’re advancing in digitalization and standing out from the competition.

Want to learn how MAP’s suite of services can help your credit union better meet members’ evolving needs? Visit its virtual booth at the Strategic Link Trade Show! Join from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on every CU Learning TRAXX session day to chat live with the MAP team.

You can also learn more about … what? Let’s say something here to tie it in. Hear from Member Accessing Processing’s Chief Revenue Officer, Bob Long, in this engaging and future-focused CU Learning TRAXX session: Hands Free! The Future of Payments is Contactless, available now for on-demand streaming. In it, Long joins a panel of thought leaders to uncover the latest in card transaction data and weigh in on digital, payment, and retail strategies. Learn more and register to view the session here.