Building a loyalty program that rewards today’s consumer

hen people decide what financial institution they want to give their business to, loyalty programs count. According to a 2016 study conducted by Filene, 24 percent of consumers are motivated by rewards and 77 percent of consumers would switch their cards for better rewards.

In a recent report published by Forbes, millennials, and consumers in general, are choosing Tampa as their dwelling destination of choice. As the business market continues to rise in Tampa and more people move in, it is important to stay relevant, listen to consumer needs, and offer products and services that truly respond to those needs.

GTE Financial has been serving Tampa Bay since 1935, with 22 locations and over 30,000 free ATMs. Currently, the market is a highly-saturated financial landscape. So how does GTE appeal to consumers who have a lot of choices? The credit union focuses on its main priority, returning value to its members. But, what does that mean? It means that as a not-for-profit credit union, the more GTE earns, the more they can return. This allowed GTE to continue to grow. In 2016, it welcomed the 250,000th member and become one of the largest credit unions in the country based on membership.

“The members who use GTE for loans, deposits, swipe their debit and credit cards, should receive the most value back,” says Brian Best, president and CEO of GTE Financial. “Just this year, we've launched a new credit card suite, boasting one of the lowest annual percentage rates in the country. Our members use their credit cards when they need them, and often carry a balance. Offering one of the lowest rates out there is important to the families we exist to serve.”

GTE Financial knows that one size does not fit all, so they evaluated its members’ needs and carefully chose benefits for each credit card that would cater to them. GTE’s Signature Card was also built to compete with the big banks, but simpler, and with a lower Annual Percentage Rate (APR) so members don’t have to pay an extremely high rate just to get rewards. With GTE’s Go Signature Card, members enjoy a 10,000-point introductory offer equivalent to $100, plus up to three times the points. Depending on the retailer’s members shop, they can often earn five times the points and beyond.

This summer, GTE launched its new loyalty program, Go Points. Members and their family will be able to earn points beyond traditional card swipes. Referrals, eStatements, loans, direct deposit, monthly specials, you name it – all will earn points. Then, members can redeem for what matters most to them, such as cash, travel, events, gift cards and merchandise. Members can even redeem for higher yields, discounts on loans and fee waivers. Points are automatically pooled across products and services, so members earn points faster.

Members will also be able to Spin-to-Win for a chance at 100,000 points. For example, if a member spent $1,500 per month for four months on their Go Signature Credit Card, and took advantage of the introductory offer, earned three times the rewards with retailer bonus points, provided two referrals, and secured a new auto loan with auto pay, they would earn a free $400 flight, this includes Southwest Airline flights. A $25 Disney gift card or $25 in cash back can be earned with just 3,000 points.

“We’ve built the program with our members in mind. So the more they use GTE, the more value they get back in return! The rewards are real and valuable,” says Best.

For more information on GTE Go Points, visit gtefinancial.org/GoPoints.

GTE Financial is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with more than $1.8 billion in assets and 22 Community Financial Centers located throughout West Central Florida. Chartered in 1935, GTE Financial is locally owned and operated in the Tampa Bay area, serving more than 250,000 individuals and businesses.