USF FCU offering rewards credit card

USF alumni can now give back to their school simply by making purchases with their credit card.

Since August, more than 146 people have taken advantage of the new USF rewards credit card offered by the USF Federal Credit Union, in partnership with the Alumni Association.

The card was marketed as a way for the owner to earn rewards as well as to give money back to the USF Alumni Association and to the university as a whole, with a percentage of each purchase made on the card going to the Alumni Association.

Usage of the rewards card provides a source of long-term revenue for the association to pursue its mission to connect alumni and provide ways for alumni to help USF succeed, Bill McCausland, executive director of USFs Alumni Association, said. There is a complex algorithm in place to provide a royalty to the USF Alumni Association based upon the number of new credit card holders and interexchange activity.

Students, McCausland said, are not the target audience to sign up for the card because they may not be interested in applying for a credit card or may not have the credit score required to apply for a credit card.

We have not, and will not under any circumstances, market the credit card to students. The credit card is for alumni and friends (of USF), McCausland said.

According to the USF Federal Credit Unions website, the card offers a list of rewards such as cash back with some purchases, premium merchandise awards such as discounts on cameras, tablets and
computers and domestic and international travel discounts after the user has accrued enough points. The card also offers a competitive interest rate of 9.9 annual percentage rate (APR).

After the Alumni Associations rewards card contract ran out with Bank of America last November, they decided to put their contract up for bid for a new provider.

(The USF Federal Credit Union) offered the best terms for the university, its alumni and friends, McCausland said. Plus, there is the added benefit that both the USF Alumni Association and USF Federal Credit Union were founded specifically to serve the needs of the USF community.

Bruce Koehler, senior vice president of the USF Federal Credit Union, said the card helps strengthen ties between alumni and the university.

We wanted to offer a card that was beneficial to have, but also offered the owner a way to give back, he said.

Students are encouraged to look at the USF Federal Credit Unions USF-branded debit card, and alumni should go to to review the credit card and sign up to receive the USF-branded VISA rewards card, McCausland said.