Welcome Certificate attracts new accounts

Christian Community Credit Union (San Dimas, California) has a "New Member Welcome Certificate" that's become a huge hit at the credit union, and also serves as a member acquisition tool.

The Welcome Certificate first rolled out several years ago and has been a lead product ever since.

“We promote it at church-related special events, Christian ministry conferences, and other large gatherings where potential members attend,” says Hope C. Smith, Vice President of Marketing and Communications.  “The Welcome Certificate has helped us in reaching our membership goals. It also encourages our members to save money.”

Smith reports that the Welcome Certificate has generated $12 million in deposits.  The big attractor is the 4 percent rate.  “I’ve checked the offers out there for an 18-month certificate and can’t find any offer like it,” says Smith.

The Welcome Certificate has a minimum opening deposit of $500.  Members can deposit up to $2,500, and only one certificate is allowed per new member.  Once the certificate matures, it rolls into a regular, 12-month term share certificate, which currently earns 1.05 percent.

Smith says that although the offer itself is enough to generate considerable attention, the credit union also markets it through social media, Google, and Facebook ads; Christian publications; e-mails; banner ads; and its Website.

Besides the 4 percent Welcome Certificate, Christian Community offers a $200 bonus when members sign up for their first “Free Checking” or “Checking Plus” account with at least $100.

The credit union has opened over 2,600 checking accounts since the offer launched in February, reports Smith, and almost 90 percent of those who received the checking bonus are still open.  The Welcome Certificate and the $200 checking bonus are the credit union’s “New Member Special Offers.”

Eligibility to join Christian Community Credit Union is based on one’s affiliation with a Protestant Christian church, ministry, or school—or if he or she is a relative of a current credit union member.

The credit union’s tagline is “Your Money Building God’s Kingdom.”

“When members put their money at the credit union, we turn it around and use that to loan money at affordable rates to Christian churches, ministry organizations, and their members,” says Smith.  “In essence, our members’ money is making a difference toward Kingdom-building projects.  When we talk to potential members about the Welcome Certificate, we let them know that their money is working within in the faith community. ”

Christian churches and other faith-based organizations have motivation to cross promote the credit union and the certificate through the “Money for Missions” program.  According to the credit union’s Website:  “Eligible churches and ministries can receive a donation of $50 for every person from the church or ministry who joins the Credit Union with a qualifying account.  The more people who join, the bigger the donation.”

The credit union notes that one ministry in the Midwest received more than $100,000 from the program so far.  A church in Kansas received $5,000 and used the money for a missions trip. Additionally, a small church in California earned $1,000 to buy new flooring for a Sunday school room.

Faith-based organizations are encouraged to feature the Welcome Certificate, $200 checking account bonus, and Signature Rewards VISA® with a 0 percent APR introductory rate and 0 percent APR balance transfer rate.

Given that those eligible to join the credit union are nationwide, members can open their account online at www.myCCCU.comor in person at the San Dimas or Covina branches.

Source:  Hope Smith, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Christian Community Credit Union, San Dimas, CA; phone (800)347-2228, ext. 6233; e-mail hsmith@mycccu.com.

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