Federal credit unions can use gift cards as an incentive under their incidental powers authority but the total costs can cause the NCUA to object to the incentive.
That's the conclusion contained in a letter from NCUA Associate General Counsel Hattie M. Ulan to Minneapolis lawyer David Kantor. He wrote the agency on behalf of an unnamed client that wanted to offer $25 gift cards to every member who attended its annual meeting, in lieu of providing a meal.
Ulan wrote that a credit union's examiner and the NCUA's regional directors have the authority to determine if the gift card incentive is "objectionable on safety and soundness or corporate waste grounds." She added that credit unions should make a "careful attempt to reasonably project total costs before offering a gift card incentive."