MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (5/8/14)--Members Advantage CU, Michigan City, Ind., has selected the merchant-funded loyalty program from Buzz Points for its 9,000 members.
"Members of our community, as well as our vital local businesses, deserve to be rewarded for shopping right here in Michigan City," said Frank Beachnau, president of the $87 million-asset credit union.
Buzz Points, which is a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider, connects local merchants and community financial institutions through its rewards program.
Members earn more points shopping locally and even more for shopping with local merchants that are enrolled in the program.
Beachnau said the credit union's partnership with Buzz Points is an "unprecedented solution that makes our members' money work harder for them and helps level the playing field for local merchants who don't have the market power to command lower interchange rates or the marketing budgets to compete with big box chains and online retailers."
Buzz Points CEO Jay Valanju said, "Research suggests that not only do independently owned stores benefit the local economy more than national chains, but that consumers also want to shop and bank locally to keep their money in the community.
"We have seen local spending double in the communities where we operate as Buzz Points gives people a reason to buy, bank and redeem locally," he added.
Credit union members who participate in the free program earn points automatically through debit card purchases that can be redeemed for local gift cards, cash cards and donations to local nonprofits from within the Buzz Points web interface or mobile app.
The merchant network includes more than 30,000 local merchants nationwide, allowing cardholders to shop locally, accrue points and redeem rewards wherever they are.