When it Comes to Credit Card Growth, They Hit the Bull’s Eye

Bull's Eye Credit Union has realized over 50 percent growth in its credit card loans last year. Find out the top ten credit unions by credit card growth and the secret to success for Bull's Eye.


The large number of credit card providers in the market today leads many credit unions to assume that growing a strong credit card portfolio is near impossible. The top performer saw growth upwards of 50.35 percent, while the credit union industry grew credit card loans on average only 2.59 percent. Below is a table of the top 10 credit unions by credit card growth.

Bull’s Eye Credit Union in Wisconsin leads the pack having the largest growth, but also shows an impressive 37.96 percent of credit card penetration. The institution was able to grow its credit card portfolio from roughly $5.9 million to $9.8 million in 18 months – a 66.10 percent increase! Bull’s Eye had explored the option of selling its portfolio very seriously.

“We were just about to sign the dotted line, then we thought let’s give it one last shot,” says CEO David Stark. The credit union got their members involved and asked their opinions in a survey. Using the member responses Bull’s Eye set out to grow their credit card portfolio.

An overwhelming number of members suggested a lower rate and after a lot of consideration Bull’s Eye executives decided to lower the rates on their cards. They hoped this would increase credit card balances and encourage members to transfer existing balances on other cards.

By offering a more competitive rate and engaging in a large direct mailing campaign, the credit union saw tremendous member response. Volumes generated from the aggressive promotion had employees transferring balances from other institutions by hand. For their efforts, enthusiastic employees were rewarded with steak dinners.


Top 10 Credit Unions in Credit Card Growth
$ Credit Card % of Members $ Avg CC Total
Credit Union
$ Credit Card
Loan Growth
% of Members
w/ Credit Card
$ Avg CCBalance
Total Assets
1 BULL'S EYE WI 50.35% 37.96% $1,202 $89,919,068
2 HAMILTON COUNTY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES OH 33.30% 51.15% $2,025 $21,190,564
3 FRANKENMUTH MI 29.66% 35.42% $1,204 $101,386,505
4 DOWNRIVER SCHOOL EMPLOYEES MI 28.90% 35.67% $1,384 $59,319,216
5 MIAMI POLICE FL 26.35% 44.18% $1,546 $40,365,043
6 NAPUS VA 23.52% 60.56% $1,345 $185,890,451
7 UNITED NATIONS NY 21.56% 39.84% $2,427 $2,004,378,297
8 ORANGE COUNTY TEACHERS CA 17.91% 43.18% $1,354 $4,952,417,423
9 ANTIOCH SCHOOLS CA 16.86% 54.34% $1,017 $26,814,034
10 CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY CA 16.10% 44.17% $1,846 $368,442,512
  Industry Average   2.59% 14.77% $1,703 $69,055,856

Learn how Bull’s Eye and other credit unions are managing strong credit card portfolios on the Credit Card Portfolio webcast.

Bull’s Eye Credit Union homepage (www.becu.net)




Nov. 8, 2004


  • Why are cu's selling loan portfolio (credit cards)that are interest rate adjustable in a rising rate environment? And selling to our competitors the "banks"? I am still baffled over losing large portfolios.
  • Editor's Note: Thank you for the comments. To illustrate the leaders in credit card portfolio growth we used a number of factors and not solely the increase in $ amount of credit card loans. This was done in hopes of recognizing strategic growth in well established credit card portfolio programs while avoiding special cases, such as mergers, portfolio purchases, and less mature credit card programs with a relatively low starting member penetration. This data is also based on YTD June 30th 2004. 3rd Quarter data was not available at the time this article was written. For more infomation please email Jay Johnson at jjohnson @ creditunions.com.
  • Hello! I always look forward to my Callahan's emails! Just wanted to let you know that Fairfax County FCU should have been on that list of "hot" credit cards - we've grown by 50%!!! Victoria Paulson - Marketing/Bus Devlp Mgr - FCFCU
  • I'm curious how you calculated the $ credit card loan growth - by my calculation, we should be in the top 10... Dave Couch Financial Health Credit Union East Lansing, MI