ARLINGTON, Va. -- Card processing executives and card expertscredit a mixture of better card management and the current economicslowdown for fueling the strong growth in credit union cardportfolio balances.

Card Services for Credit Unions has waged a long campaign tohelp their members improve their card management practices and wasquick to see how better management has been helping drive thegrowth.

"During a tough economy, many cardholders are recognizing thattheir credit union tends to offer more favorable rates than the bigbanks on most products, including credit cards," said CSCUspokesman Cassie Ricks. "And as some banks are facing increasedpressure due to the mortgage crunch, many credit unions are in abetter position to serve their members with competitive APRs andlower fees."

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