Here's An Idea: Credit Union Pays Members For Using Their Debit Cards

Instead of charging customers a $5 monthly fee for using their debit cards, one credit union is actually paying its members to use their debit cards. In a direct jab against the big banks, First Community Federal Credit Union is running a promotion that lets members earn up to $5 a month for swiping their debit card.

November 1st through January 31st, the credit union is giving members who swipe at least 15 times per month $.10 for every purchase, up to $5 per month. To the pool of those who use their debit card more than 15 times a month, they’re also tossing out a $500 weekly prize-drawing, and one person will get a $5,000 jackpot. It’s kind of hokey, and not a lot of money, but that’s exactly the kind of home-spun pluck you can expect from a credit union!

The credit union is trying to reward customers for “stickier” behavior. By using their credit union debit card for everyday transactions, customers are re-cementing their relationship with the credit union. That prepares the ground for longer-time customer loyalty and upselling to other credit-union offered products.

The marketing maneuver is also a clever way for the credit union to paint itself as the polar opposite of banks like Bank of America, which recently retreated from a much-reviled plan to charge customers $5 a month for using their debit cards. Credit unions see the blood in the water and are moving in to try to grab up new accounts.

(Thanks to Simon!)