Credit Unions Need to Better Advertise Their No Fee Balance Transfer Offers

free money

Earlier this year, I pointed out that one of the best places to find a no fee balance transfer credit card is at a local credit union.

Why? In short, they tend not to charge a transaction fee to complete the balance transfer, something very few commercial banks are willing to do.

Aside from the Chase Slate card and the sometimes available Discover No Fee Balance Transfer offer, such offers are hard to come by.

But most consumers don’t know many of these credit union offers exist because the associated institutions don’t seem to be willing to spend the marketing dollars to inform their prospective customers.

Win-Win for Consumers and Credit Unions

However, it turns out that a balance transfer campaign can be a very effective way of drawing in customers, while also providing said individuals with a no fee balance transfer option they likely wouldn’t find elsewhere.

Per a recent CUInsight post, some credit unions are getting it right and bringing in tons of customers with smart marketing campaigns.

Here is one such example offered up by the publication:

THE OFFER: 2.99% APR for 6 months with no transfer fee
THE TARGET: 2,715 cardholders
THE RESULT: 340 responded with average balance transfer of $2,582

If we calculate those numbers, that’s a 12.5% response rate, which if you know anything about marketing, is phenomenal.

The author, Karan Bhalla, notes that, “Unlike many financial institutions, credit unions don’t typically require balance transfer fees, a feature that should be promoted more aggressively.”

I couldn’t agree more, especially with the favorable numbers these campaigns generate.
Bhalla adds that balance transfer campaigns can also boost a credit union’s image because they save customers money, which fosters a strong relationship.

By the way, the most effective channel is apparently “hands down” snail mail. Yep, sending out boring old-fashioned mailers is the best way to get customers to transfer their credit card balances.

I, for one, have never received a balance transfer solicitation from a credit union in the mail, but I constantly receive balance transfer checks from the big commercial banks.

Unfortunately, the latter offers are never no-fee, and at best come with a 1% balance transfer fee.

Again, I wonder why credit unions don’t do a better job advertising their no fee offers when they’re often the only game in town.

I’ve compiled hundreds of these no fee offers on my page dedicated to no fee balance transfers.

Hopefully would-be customers happen upon it, otherwise they may never know what their local credit union has to offer.


  1. Hello, here is the latest on two of the mentioned credit union balance transfer offers.

    MEADOWS VISA PLATINUM in Arlington Heights, Illinois requires you to be an employee of one of their local neighbors.

    I applied tor their balance transfer credit card AFTER SPENDING $15 for membership in the ‘Computer Museum. to open a savings account. I was turned down for the credit card due to too many accounts and a high credit card debt. Oh really?
    Here is the zinger. Ready? By secure messaging FIRST TECH then requested color copies front and back of both my social security card and my drivers license. That is the latest. Will keep you informed as to their response to my questions why they want such items. Maybe a urine sample would be more appropriate. Frank

  2. Frank,

    Yeah it can be frustrating when banks/credit unions make what seem like unreasonable requests. Barclaycard asks me for a bunch of documents like SS and DL to be sent to a location in Delaware recently. Very annoying.

  3. And for what it worth, although FIRST TECH CHOICE REWARDS turned me down for a credit card/balance transfer, EXPERIAN shows that I had a credit card from the above credit union, FOR ONE DAY..

    In California, congresswoman Maxine W. is trying to get a bill passed that would require that the credit reporting bureaus do a lot more of forgive and forget such as not keeping your one late payment on the books for seven years.


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