Gates discusses how credit unions should design their rewards programs to give their members a wide range of redemption options such as travel, merchandise, gift cards, or digital content. Today’s consumers want value as well as variety from their rewards program and they want to earn those rewards in a short period of time.
Gates notes in the article that an important trend happening in the rewards industry today is helping consumers obtain those valuable rewards they are looking for more quickly. This is a blending of the traditional rewards program where members earn points just for using their credit or debit cards with merchant funded offers where they can earn even more points. Consumers can accelerate their points earning by taking advantage of available merchant funded offers—both national as well as local offers. Because the extra points earned are funded by merchants, the credit union is able to offer a more cost effective rewards program.
This new approach to rewards programs—particularly those that include a local merchant funded component--allows credit unions to compete with banks that typically aren’t nimble enough and who don’t have the same local connections that credit unions do.
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