Making your balance transfer promotion a yearly thing

SECU ($3.4 billion, Linthicum Maryland) has a VISA® balance offer that's boosting credit card sign ups, plus adding more members. Kevin Stehl, Vice President of Product, Marketing, and Digital, says that an attractive rate and offer is prompting rate shoppers to consider the credit union. 

“Our balance transfer promotion is starting to become a yearly thing,” says Stehl. “We did one last year and it was really popular.”

He says this year’s offer was similar because the credit union rolled out the campaign after the Christmas holidays and extended it through the end of June.

“The idea is to have a balance transfer offer available after those holiday bills start rolling in.”

An attractive rate is the star of the campaign.  For example, the credit union is offering a 6.49 percent balance transfer rate that never changes until the balance is paid off.  Additionally, the member doesn’t have to pay a balance transfer fee to take advantage of the offer.

The credit union has a variety of credit card options—which feature no annual fees—including rewards, cash back, student, and credit-building cards.

Stehl says the credit card balance transfer promotion is continuing to drum up new business and members for the credit union.

“They are out rate shopping and see our offer,” he says.  “This year, we are doing more digital marketing, which is making a big difference.”

The promotion is positioned on sites that advertise for balance transfers, says Stehl.  The offer returns high on Google searches so that when the prospect or existing member types in “balance transfer” as search words, they will easily come across it.

While the digital efforts drive prospects to the credit union’s Website, existing members learn about the offer through e-mails and the credit union’s newsletter. The credit union is also using social media and e-mail blasts to pique existing members’ interest.  “We have a large offering of credit cards to meet just about every need, so we aren’t doing any specific demographic targeting with our marketing.”

Interested members and prospects can apply for the balance transfer offer either online or in the branch.  “We have a nice mix between the applications that come in through the branches and online.”

According to Stehl, the credit union made approximately 3,000 balance transfers during the first five months of this year’s promotion.  “This includes getting new members, but we haven’t tracked which balance transfer came from new versus existing members.”

However, Stehl says that any time a new member signs up for credit union membership, they go through an onboarding process in their first 60 to 90 days.  New products and services are presented during those weeks to deepen the initial relationship.

When the member approaches the credit union to open a new credit card, the member service representative works with him or her to select the right card.

“We aren’t focusing on one card over the other.  Rather, we work closely with the member to find the card that best fits their lifestyle.”

He adds that right now, the credit union’s rewards and cash back cards are the most popular.

Source:  Kevin Stehl, Vice President of Product, Marketing, and Digital, SECU, Linthicum, MD; phone (410)279-6913; e-mail 

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