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Card Affinity Programs: A New Opportunity

Credit unions have before them a new and exciting opportunity to grow their credit card: partnering with similarly minded organizations to offer credit cards with both ‘brands’ to that partners member base. These are called ‘affinity programs’ and, while they have been around for a long time, the opportunity for credit unions to make progress in this area has never been better. Like any credit card program, though, a few missteps can lead to poor results. This article attempts to help credit unions avoid those missteps and the resulting difficulties in the overall partnership as well as the unhappy members that could result.

Affinity programs have been around for a long time but have traditionally been dominated by the largest credit card issuers. With special divisions dedicated to finding and managing these opportunities it has always been difficult for small issuers, including credit unions, to establish more than a handful of such programs. But things have changed and there is now more room for the small issuer to compete.

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