Cards CU Affinity Skills
An annual report prepared for Congress by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and released last month documented that credit unions have continued to sharpen their skills when it comes to managing and growing affinity card programs with colleges and universities.
Affinity card programs are so named because the credit union card issuers enters into an agreement with a school or the school’s alumni group and then markets and issues credit cards to the school or alumni community. The credit union generally gets to keep the finance charges that the cards generate but often divides the interchange with the its affinity partner and often pays a per card account fee to the school when new accounts are opened. In addition, the affinity partner also gets a card or cards bearing its logo or other team identifier that helps them build loyalty with the program.
The 62,000-member $746 million Purdue Federal Credit Union held the spot currently occupied by UIECU last year but fell to third this year, opening 2,877 accounts under its affinity agreement with the Purdue Alumni Association. Last year, PFCU opened 2,642 card account under the deal.
Michigan State University Federal Credit Union came in fifth on the list, opening 1,115 new card accounts under its contract with Michigan State University. Last year. it was ranked 24th and opened 302 accounts, the report said.