12/12/12 Credit Union Promotions

imageLast year, we were disappointed at the lack of promotions on double-triple-digit day, finding just a single promo 11/11/11 promotion (see our post on Notre Dame FCU). But it was Veteran’s Day and most U.S. banks were closed.

This year, 12/12/12 falls at a much better time in the promo calendar, and FI marketers responded, at least on the credit union side. In the first five pages of Google results we found 15 CU promotions, most offering 12-month, $1,200 loans.

However, it turns out that “12/12/12 loans” are regular December fare at a number of credit unions. Only four of the 15 were focused on the once-in-a-hundred-years date, one on the deposit side and three low-rate loan specials (note 1).

The standout deal? A 0.12% APR on a $1,200 loan from L’Oreal USA FCU

Here are the four CU 12/12/12 promos:

  • L’Oreal USA Federal Credit Union: 12-month, $1,200 loan with with APR = 0.12% (requires payroll deduction & estatements; link, screenshot #1)
  • Meadowland Credit Union: 12-month, $1,200 loan with rate as low as 1.2% (direct deposit & checking account required; link, screenshot #2)
  • Notre Dame Federal Credit Union: 120-day loan of $1,212.12 at an APR of 1.1212% (requires opening new credit card; link, screenshot #3)
  • USAlliance FCU: 12-month, 1.2% APY CD (new money only; link, screenshot #4)

Other 12/12/12 loan seemingly unrelated to Dec 12, 2012 (with links to the loan page):

  • Carolina Foothills FCU (link)
  • Clackamas FCU (link)
  • Ecusta Credit Union (link)
  • Freedom FCU (ran during the summer, link)
  • Fremont FCU (link)
  • Gulf Coast Educators FCU (link; see banner at top of post)
  • John Hopkins FCU (link)
  • Northwest Georgia Credit Union (link)
  • Northwest Resource FCU (link)
  • SRP Federal Credit Union (link)
  • Telhio Credit Union (link)

No banks seem to be joining the fun. Although Chase was promoting its sponsorship of the 12/12/12 Sandy benefit concert with an AdWords buy on Google yesterday (screenshot 5). 


1. L’Oreal USA FCU is offering a rate of just 0.12%
Note: Interest totals just $0.78 over the life of the loan, payroll deduction required


2. Meadowland Credit Union worked Aaron Rodger into its promo


3. Notre Dame FCU is the only FI that ran promotions on both 11/11/11 and 12/12/12 promotions
(11 Dec 2012)


4. USAlliance FCU was the only one with a deposit special


Chase Bank is the headline sponsor of a Sandy benefit concert (link)



1. We searched for “12/12/12 promotion credit union” and found many entries. The same search with “bank” instead of “credit union” turned about nothing (at least through the first dozen pages of results).

Oklahoma Employees Credit Union Posts Seven Specials for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

imageDuring the past few years we’ve reported on Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions at financial institutions (last year). ING Direct is the only large bank that has consistently used the post-Thanksgiving holiday in its marketing (see below) and we are glad to see it continue under Capital One ownership.

imageThis year we found another new entrant for our database of holiday offers, 42,000 member Oklahoma Employees Credit Union. It has a prominent black tag on its homepage announcing a "Black Friday Money $ale" (see first screenshot). 

And from the looks of it, the CU has created a pretty hot offer, leading with car loans as low as 1.49% with no payment due for 90 days (well after holiday spending subsides). But that’s just one of the seven holiday offers (second screenshot). The CU is also offering:

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday (Nov 23 to 26)

  • 1.49% APR* on New or Used Auto Loans 
  • 1.00% APR^ Off Unsecured Loans
  • Surcharge Free Gift Cards***
Black Friday to the End of the Year (Nov 23 to Dec 31)
  • 90 days no pay**
  • $149 Mortgage Loan Origination Fee^^
  • $49 Credit*^ with New MasterCard
  • 0.49%tt Business Loan Origination Fee


    Oklahoma Employees Credit Union homepage with Black Friday specials (Wed, 21 Nov 2012)


    Black Friday landing page (link)


    ING Direct homepage with Black Friday offers (21 Nov 2012)


    ING Direct Black Friday teaser page (link)
    Note: The bank does not reveal the actual offers until midnight Thursday



    Fine print on Oklahoma Employees Credit Union offers:

      *Annual Percentage Rate. 640+ credit score. Max term 60 months; estimated payment $17.31 per $1,000 borrowed. Min amount $10,000. Existing OECU loan min advance $2,500. Requires automatic payments and eStatements. 
      ** Borrower may defer initial auto loan payment up to 90 days. Interest will accrue from date of advance. 
      ^ Annual Percentage Rate. Reduction from regular earned rate as determined by credit score. 
      *** Up to 5 cards
      ^^ Max 12 years up to $250,000 and 75% loan-to-value as determined by appraisal or AVM. 
      *^ Initial transaction must be made by 1/10/13. Credit to be issued by 2/10/13. 
      tt Owner occupied commercial real estate. Max loan $500,000. Additional closing costs may apply. Normal lending policies apply.

      Happy New Year!

      imageOn the first day of 2012, we found a few financial institutions wishing their customers well, while also informing them of holiday branch closures. Always festive Amplify Credit Union (Austin, TX) had a great look as did First Federal Bank of Florida (see below). 

      First Federal also remembered to address New Years Eve hours on Saturday, a more likely question. 

      Final note: While you’re at it, also mention holiday hours in your call center and online banking support.


      Amplify Credit Union (1 Jan 2012, link)
      Note: Amplify switches out its header graphic and logo treatment on major holidays. Here was their Valentine’s look in 2010.

      Amplify CU homepage on New Years Day

      First Federal Bank of Florida (1 Jan 2012, link)
      Note: First Florida had the best New Years graphics. They not only ran two banners, but also used subtle animation to cause the logo and top banner to twinkle when it was moused over. The bank also addressed Dec 31 hours along with those on the official holiday.

      First Federal Bank of Florida homepage on New Years day

      U.S. New Mexico Federal Credit Union
      (1 Jan 2012, link)

      US New Mexico FCU homepage on New Years Day

      Holiday Promotions from Credit Unions and Community Banks

      imageLast week we looked at the holiday efforts (or lack thereof) of the 20 largest U.S. banks. But aside from PNC Bank’s “Christmas cost index” and ING Direct’s “12 days of mobile,” not much this holiday season was particularly noteworthy (inset for Midland Bank gift cheques, circa 1956, see credit below).

      For inspiration, you need to look at the smaller banks and credit unions. Here are five we found through random googling today: 

      1. Michigan State University FCU: 6.9% Holiday Loan (homepage promo #2)


      2. Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union: Visa Gift Card (homepage promo #2)


      3. OnPoint Community Credit (Oregon): Mobile gift cards (homepage, promo #1) , Visa Gift Card (promo #2)



      4. Community First Credit Union (Florida): iPad giveaway for eStatements (homepage, promo #3; landing page)


      5. Texas Bank: “Stash the Christmas cash” (homepage, one of four rotating promos; landing page)
      Note: “Stash the cash” is similar to BofA’s “keep the change;” debit card purchases are rounded up to nearest dollar with the extra 1-99 cents deposited into savings. The holiday promo included a 5% bonus match on each transfer in December (website powered by Bancvue)



      imageNote: Picture credit. Midland Bank advertisement for holiday checks from The Illustrated London News, 17 Nov 1956. (Click to enlarge, for sale here). 

      Holiday Promotions at the Top-20 U.S. Banks

      Since I began blogging in 2004, I’ve usually run a year-end post looking at the holiday marketing efforts of the top-20 U.S. banks (links below). This year, only 7 of the 20 banks are using holiday or seasonal imagery on their homepages. That’s a decrease of 3 over last year.

      As usual, PNC Bank is the gold standard for holiday bank promotions, with its long-running (25+ years) “cost of Christmas index” which quantifies the cost of procuring all the items mentioned in the famous song, “12 Days of Christmas.” Following is a quick overview of the promotions, including a 1-to 5-bulb rating. 

      Previous posts: 2010, 2009 part 1, 2009 part 2, 2007, 2006, 2006, 2004


      Big banks in the holiday spirit
      (rated 1 to 5 bulbs)

      PNC: Christmas cost index

      • Cost of Christmas based on the song 12 Days of Christmas

      Score: imageimageimageimageimage



      Landing page: Amazing microsite, wonderful graphics, and slow loading (link)


      Fifth Third: holiday sweeps

      • Pay Your Bills sweeps with holiday graphics
      • Small ad with a card wrapped with ribbon which directs users to branches for “holiday shopping made easy,” presumably for gift cards, but neither the ad nor the landing page make that clear

      Score: imageimageimageimage


      ING Direct: Mobile usage sweeps

      • 12 Days of Mobile sweeps

      Score: imageimageimageimage


      Landing page


      Chase: sweeps and car loans

      • Winner Wonderland, credit card sweeps with one entry for every credit card purchase and 5 entries for every donation put on the Chase card
      • Add joy to your wallet, car refinance promotion

      Score: imageimageimage


      BB&T: Visa gift card

      • Small advertisement in lower right

      Score: image image



      TD Bank: Visa gift card

      • Small advertisement in lower right (below the fold on my laptop)

      Score: image



      Key Bank: gift cards

      • Very small gift-card promo, below the fold on my laptop and rotating with a half-dozen other items

      Score: image




      1. No holiday imagery on the homepages of BofA, Wells Fargo, Citibank, HSBC, US Bank, SunTrust, Capital One, Citizens, Regions, Harris, Bank of the West, Union Bank, Comercia
      2. Screenshots taken from Ft. Myers, FL, IP address, between 7 and 8 PM, 20 Dec 2011    
      3. Credit: Happy Holidays animation from LayoutSparks.com