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Apr 8: Vancity Announces New VISA Card...

Vancity Announces New VISA Card to Replace Canada 3000 Program

Vancouver, April 8, 2002 - Vancity VISA is rolling out the replacement for its Canada 3000 card - a new loyalty program with more choices and flexibilty for collecting and redeeming points than any other card on the market, as well as a lower interest rate.

The new Vancity Rewards Plus program will give cardholders the opportunity to redeem points for travel, financial products and merchandise, while continuing Vancity's tradition of raising money for the community. Citizens Bank of Canada, a subsidiary of Vancity, will also be a provider of the Rewards Plus card.

Vancity Gold and Travel VISA cardholders, who have been earning double points while the program has been in redesign, can start redeeming points for the new options when Vancity Rewards Plus launches on May 1.

While the double points initiative will end when the new program launches, Vancity VISA will automatically give existing cardholders a 30 per cent bonus on their total points as of April 30.

The new Vancity Rewards Plus program will see Vancity partner with UNIGLOBE Advance Travel to provide cardholders with the best discounted fares. Cardholders can choose how they want to travel - by air, rail or ship - on any carrier, with no blackout periods or seat restrictions. As an added advantage, cardholders who charge travel costs with selected suppliers on their Vancity Gold VISA will accumulate fives times the points.

Cardholders will be able to access the program through eight UNIGLOBE locations in Greater Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto, as well as online and over the phone.

VISA cardholders will also have the option of redeeming points for a wide range of Vancity financial products, such as term deposits, RRSPs, RESPs, investments, mortgages and insurance. No other credit card company offers this many options on one card. Points can even be gifted to the Vancity Community Foundation.

Those who prefer to redeem points for merchandise will be able to choose from a catalogue of quality items, ranging from sports equipment to clock radios to flat-screen TVs.

In addition to improved choice and flexibility, the new Vancity VISA will offer an interest rate that is three quarter points below most credit card interest rates. Currently, this will make it the lowest rate for a card of its kind.

As always, Vancity VISA has not lost sight of its community focus. Profits from all Vancity VISA cards will continue contributing to Vancity's EnviroFund, which supports important local environmental projects.

The decision to offer all of these options - more than any other card on the market - was made following extensive research that included surveys of a large number of both Vancity's VISA cardholders and other Vancity members. It was also based on a determination to turn the unfortunate demise of Canada 3000 into an opportunity to create the best loyalty program ever.

"We were determined to use the Canada 3000 situation as an opportunity to talk to our cardholders and design a card that really hits the mark. By including the features they want, and continuing to contribute to our communities, I believe we have done that," says Vancity CEO Dave Mowat.

The new Vancity VISA cards, sporting a unique translucent design - the only one of its kind in Canada - will be sent to existing cardholders in June and to new applicants shortly after that. For details please contact the Vancity VISA centre at (604) 877-4999, 1-800-611-8472 or visit

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $7.5 billion in assets, 277,000 members, and 39 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.