ST. LOUIS — Data is steadily rolling in that demonstrates creditunions with flat or underperforming credit card portfolios canbreathe more life into their card programs with the addition of alittle Platinum.

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The latest example comes from the $175 million Neighbors CreditUnion, headquartered in St. Louis, which reported boosting theoutstanding balances of its roughly 6,000 card credit cardportfolio by converting most of its Classic and Gold Visa brandedcards to a Platinum card program and by implementing a rewardsprogram, according to PSCU Financial Services, the card processingCUSO which helped the CU make the switch and offered the rewardsprogram.

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The CU began offering the rewards option after implementingrisk-based pricing, which allowed it to offer its most reliablecardholders interest rates as low as 7.95%, PSCU said.

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“While we have witnessed the trend for credit unions to selltheir credit portfolios, we believe that credit cards are afundamental building block in attracting and retaining members,”said Larry Giesing, CEO of Neighbors Credit Union. “Our experiencevalidates what PSCU Financial Services has been saying for years:adding a popular rewards program and offering employee incentivesdoes generate immediate and significant returns for a credit cardportfolio.”

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Employee promotions have added 149 new cardholders and $60,500in balance transfers to the portfolio in the first quarter of 2007,PSCU added.

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