DuPont Community Grows Credit Cards without Losing its Marbles

DuPont Community Credit Union ($486m) had a goal of increasing credit card loans by $4.8 million in two months but surpassed it in only two weeks.


Faced with a goal of increasing credit card loans outstanding by $4.8 million in two months, Vice President of Marketing at DuPont Community Credit Union Suzie Cook did more than just meet that goal – she surpassed it in only two weeks. She ultimately increased the size of DuPont Community's credit card loan portfolio by 91 percent over the third and fourth quarters of 2004.

Launching a marketing campaign with the slogan, "A Credit Card Promotion SO GREAT you'll think we've lost our marbles," DuPont Community in Waynesboro, VA, with $486 million in assets, used bags of marbles as "eye catchers" in branches, promoted the campaign in print and online, and sent direct mail pieces to over 10,000 pre-screened members.

The results were staggering:

  • Credit card loans outstanding increased from $20.6 million in 6/04 to $39.6 million in 12/04 (see graph below)
  • Average credit card balances increased from $1,988 in 6/04 to $3,178 in 12/04
  • Total delinquency remained well below the industry average at 0.29 percent
  • Credit card penetration jumped to an all-time high of 26.94 percent (see graph below)

Source: CU Analyzer, Callahan & Associates, Inc

Source: CU Analyzer, Callahan & Associates, Inc

Even more impressive is that the marketing campaign was not officially launched until close to the end of the third quarter, on Sept. 1, 2004.

"The original goal was [to grow credit card loans outstanding by] $4.8 million by the end of October. It became apparent in two weeks that we were going to hit that by the end of September or even sooner," Cook said.

DuPont Community offered attractive rates over the life of balance transfers, an 8.9 percent fixed platinum card rate, and employed a rewards program for the first time in its card program's existence. Getting the word out to members was also done very effectively.

"We did the lion's share of the promotion through direct mail," Cook said. With staggered mailings over three to four weeks and supplemental advertising pushes online, in statement stuffers, and branch displays, DuPont Community effectively promoted its program.

Cook and DuPont Community easily met their financial goals and triumphed over the increasingly difficult industry problem of shrinking credit card penetration rates that many credit unions have grappled with over the past several years.

More information on increasing penetration rates and growing credit card loan balances is available on the webinar recording, Growing Effective Credit Card Lending Programs.




May 2, 2005


  • The balance transfer rate differed from the Platinum card rate DuPont Community was offering its members under the promotion. A pre-screened direct mail acquisition program allowed DuPont Community to select a lower, more competitive rate and use that to attract new accounts and grow balances. Suzie will be able to discuss her credit union's segmentation and targeting strategies in more detail during the webinar next month. -Scott Homa, Callahan & Associates
  • Looks like this promo was all about rate. So, what was the life-of-balance balance transfer rate? Was is lower than the 8.9% regular Platinum rate?
  • If Suzie worked for me, she would get a large bonus. I haven't seen or read about results that big. Must be a lot more than just issuing a new platinum and marketing.