Guardian Credit Union introduces local business rewards program

West Milwaukee-based Guardian Credit Union has introduced Buzz Points, a local business loyalty rewards program, for its 35,000 members.

The program is funded by the merchants who benefit from the purchases using the GCU Discover debit card. Users earn points for using the debit card anywhere, but they get more points for shopping at local businesses, and the most point for shopping at local businesses that are enrolled in Buzz Points.

Businesses are rewarded with marketing assistance and an offset to higher interchange fees. They are given data analysis and targeted marketing technology access to expand their reach.

“Our institution was founded as a manufacturing-based credit union in 1934, and this heritage defines the hard-working individuals and communities we serve today,” said Steve Wesson, president and chief executive officer of Guardian Credit Union. “In our continual efforts to provide our members with a superior, comprehensive experience – including technology and services that are competitive with larger financial institutions – we identified Buzz Points as a unique offering to that of other financial institutions in our area. The ability to reward our members for shopping locally while also providing the independent business owners in our community with a suite of robust marketing tools stood out as an ideal fit for both our members and our local merchants.”

The customers’ points can be redeemed for gift cards, cash cards and local nonprofit donations.

“The Milwaukee region is home to Wisconsin’s highest concentration of food and beverage makers and is well known for its many microbreweries and local fare,” said Jay Valanju, CEO of Buzz Points. “With the emergence of wards, including the Historic Third Ward with its shopping and restaurant districts, art galleries and studios and growing number of farmers markets, along with a vibrant festival scene, Milwaukee’s buy local movement is gaining momentum. Guardian Credit Union has long been a champion of local business and industry, and with Buzz Points, they will be able extend their reach and engage their members in fueling the growth of their local economy.”

Guardian Credit Union has branches in West Milwaukee, West Allis, Menomonee Falls, Waukesha, South Milwaukee and Oak Creek.

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