SHREVEPORT, La. — The African-American Credit Union Coalition said it is moving its 2009 annual conference from Chicago to Las Vegas.The coalition said the change is “due to circumstances beyond our control” and directed those interested in attending the conference to stay tuned to its Web site ( for more details.The AACUC’s new location and dates are Aug. 5-8 in Las Vegas.

Adding Rewards to CardsMay Not Be Enough

BOSTON — Credit unions whose credit cards already carry rewards programs would better differentiate their cards by adding additional services rather than tacking on more rewards, according to recent research from the Aite Group.The financial service research firm’s most recent report, “Credit Card Rewards: Why Issuers Should Compete on Service,” said that the proliferation of different rewards programs has blunted the impact of simply adding more rewards.“Because so many rewards cardholders belong to other rewards programs, differentiating on product-the reward program itself-is difficult,” the report said. “But few (if any) rewards-providing firms help these consumers to manage the programs they belong to. As issuers look to one-up each other with ever-expanding rewards, we believe that issuers can differentiate themselves by creating a rewards hub that enables cardholders to aggregate and integrate programs.”The study affirmed the importance of rewards programs in drawing consumers and driving card usage, but it also noted that heavy card rewards users display different behaviors that isn’t always best for the issuer. Among other things, heavy card rewards users are generally not inclined to revolve a balance and pay a finance charge.“Two-thirds of this group pays off their credit card balance in full each month, while just 9% of them make the minimum payment,” the report. “Among other consumers, 40% pay their balance in full, and 17% make the minimum payment on their card balance.”On the other hand, heavy card users are inclined to use their cards to pay monthly bills, particularly Internet and wireless phone bills. They are also not inclined to consolidate their cards, the report said.Even cardholders who are heavy users of rewards programs still express dissatisfaction with them, the research found.Three-quarters of respondents said that they’re satisfied with the types of rewards programs they belong to and the customer service provided by those programs, but just 56% expressed satisfaction with the value they get from the programs they belong to, and less than half are satisfied with how quickly they can earn points or cash, the report said.

Bowles AnnouncesRetirement From GFA

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