BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The $660 million America’s First FCU is adopting a program which will reward its debit cardholders anytime they use their debit cards, whether they validate their transaction with a personal identification number, their signature or through an online bill paying program. Beginning August 24, according to the credit union, debit cardholders will earn a point for every three dollars they spend with their debit cards, no matter how they validate the transactions. The credit union, which has 90,000 members, said it wanted to reward its members for using their debit cards and that there is a shrinking difference between the interchange earned by transactions validated with a signature and those validated with a PIN, according to Linda Elliot, a card specialist with the credit union. The credit union also adopted the rewards program in order to further interest in its checking accounts. According to NCUA’s records, America’s First checking accounts are only 48% penetrated into the credit union membership, a figure which credit union spokesman Andrew Smith acknowledged was low when compared to industry-wide numbers but said it may not be that low in the credit union’s market.

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