Consumer Payment Card News

Credit Union Card Issuers Take On the Big Boys with Often Overlooked Credit Card Deals

The vast majority of U.S. credit unions offer credit cards, directly of indirectly, usually at much lower interest rates than the Big 6 issuers and with very competitive benefits.

Credit unions hold about $60 billion of the nation’s $1 trillion of credit card debt or approximately 6% of the market, according to CardData. However, while tiny, many credit unions offer top level card perks with serious benefits like cash back.

Consider, the New Jersey-based Affinity Federal Credit Union and its brand new Affinity Cash Rewards Visa Signature Credit CardAffinity Credit Union Credit Card

Affinity’s Cash Rewards Credit Card has multiple cash back options, including 5% for bookstore buys (including, 2% for money spent at restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets and 1% for all other transactions, allowing members to make the most of everyday purchases. Those who spend $5,000 within the first 60 days will receive an additional $200 cash back.

Besides a generous cash back program, the new card includes free cell phone protection covers up to $250 of the cost of accidents. Its travel perks include zero foreign transaction fees and 24/7 travel and emergency assistance, plus protection benefits like purchase security and extended warranties.

The card carries a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, after that the $95 annual fee is waived if you spend $25,000 or more in a calendar year.

The interest rates offered start at 14.25% variable, which is on par with most of the top issuers who control more than half of the U.S. credit card market.

Recently, Navy Federal, the largest credit card issuer among credit unions, and indeed the largest credit union in the world, has refurbished its Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Credit Card now offering 3X points on all travel purchases and 2X points on everything else.

According to CardTrak, Navy has also added up to a $100 statement credit for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry and one point is equal to $0.01 when you redeem for cash, travel or gift cards.

Navy FCU’s newly added travel category offers 3X points on all travel-related spending, including ride-sharing programs, tolls, taxis, parking garages, cruises and more. Also includes 3X points on other travel-related purchases i.e. golf course, amusement park, etc..

But wait, there’s more: the current introductory offer includes 50,000 bonus points when cardholders spend $4,000 within the first 90 days