One of three card designs that draw upon University of Illinois history or community for the credit union.

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.

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