Credit Card Marketing Strategies

Author Erin Petro
Read time 6 minutes read time

In the financial world, credit cards are the big sellers. It’s highly competitive marketing and commercials abound. Each one touts changing lives through reward points. Most of these ads are sponsored by the big national banks.

But is all the bluster truly effective when it comes to convincing individuals to sign up for a credit card? There are several credit card marketing strategies worth pursuing, but there’s one that sticks out the most.

Personal Marketing Approach

Personal marketing campaigns are becoming more relevant to people. They create an opportunity to engage the member or potential-member. Personal marketing is particularly important to Generation Zs and Millennials.

According to a Quad study (a marketing research company), 36 percent of millennials and 23 percent of Gen Zers wanted more personalized marketing.

Credit unions that connect with members as individuals gain the edge when fostering loyalty. This happens at the start of the acquisition process.

Incorporate Personal Credit Card Strategies to Members

Personalized credit card marketing strategies begin at home. Your members’ financial behavior speaks volumes and will guide you in your marketing plan.

Part of that plan is education. Knowing their credit card behavior is one element, the other is walking the member through the educational process of understanding their behavior.

Nickel’s Credit Check helps you do that. By using the three-pronged process of:

  • identify
  • reach
  • engage

Nickels provides you with the tools to help you cross-sell your credit cards to existing members, and acquire new members.

Identify Revolving Cardholders

The first step is to identify the heavy revolvers. These are the members who are not paying their statement balance in full month each month. To identify those heavy revolvers, you begin by analyzing the data you already have in your core. What cards do they have? What payments are they making on competitor credit cards? This is invaluable information and will help you with the education and marketing process.

Reach Revolving Members

Once you know your members credit card behavior you can effectively reach out to them. Customize an email campaign. Taylor it to their spending habits and credit card needs. Ensure you have an effective subject line to motivate members to open it.

Engage with Card Check

Having a white-labeled tool like Card Check in your pocket will allow you to engage your members via email. Card Check helps the identified member select a credit card that will fit their spending behaviors.

It gives them a comparison. Members are asked to input information that allows them to see how much their credit card is costing them, even when factoring in rewards.

It educates them. They learn what rewards cost and that if they carry a balance monthly, they’ll be spending more money on interest and fees than what they’re receiving.

This is your opportunity to shine by offering your low-interest credit card as an alternative.

Customize the Credit Card Selection Process

Refining the credit card selection process to how consumers behave is imperative. Heavy revolvers are swayed by flashy ads and reward promises to buy into high interest credit cards. If they take into account their spending, they would opt for a low-interest credit union card.

Nickels CardFit helps with the credit card selection process; it is not to be confused with Card Check. CreditFit helps credit unions acquire new members by using paid digital to show potential members the true value of the credit union’s credit card by factoring in rewards earned compared to the cost of interest and fees..

Credit unions have the best low-interest credit cards. The consumer is educated that a low-interest rate credit union card is more valuable than a high-interest rate card.  Card shoppers that are revolving on their balance are shown that rewards are actually costing them, and are presented with the option to sign up for a low-interest local credit union card.

Educational Marketing Opens Avenues

Marketing is about educating. Explaining the long-term consequences of high-interest rates versus the short-term rewards turns on the light for most people.

Consumers like information about the products they are purchasing. They’ll sometimes research a new car’s features before they even see it.

The same should go with consumers’ choice of credit cards. Local credit unions must differentiate themselves from the crowd.

This is done through educating the consumer in a personalized and compelling manner.

Use Digital Media to Help Educate

Digital media like Paid-Per-Click (PPC), online ads and social media can be personalized to target markets. Ads can be tailored to individual behavior and characteristics.

Through digital marketing, you can educate people based on their needs. The goal is to give consumers what they want when they want it.

Seasonal Campaign Strategies

Setting up CardFit during “frivolous” spending times of the year can be advantageous. Big bank credit cards advertise when consumers are at their most vulnerable. They entice them with big rewards and downplay the big interest rates.

During these times, you should implement a campaign to help the credit card selection process. This is a time to not only educate with CardFit but also promote local credit union credit cards.

By being transparent during these times, your card becomes their primary card. And they may turn to you for the rest of their financial needs.

Use Tools for a Personal Marketing Approach

Having the right tools is important when competing against the big bank credit cards. Using Card Check and CardFit are two ways to tip the scale to your advantage.

It’s all about choices. When consumers are educated about the different choices, credit unions have the opportunity to market their local credit cards.

Contact Nickels and find out how Card Check and CardFit will work in your credit card marketing plan. Use their identity, reach, engage to promote local credit card conversions.

About Nickels

Nickels is a CUSO that helps credit unions cross sell credit cards, shift spend to their cards, and refinance members’ competitor card debt. Founded in Ann Arbor, MI, their mission is to improve members’ credit card health, in part by shifting members from high interest competitor cards to lower rate credit union products. For more information, please visit