NY Credit Union Roundup: Credit Card Legislation Insights

This edition of the NY Credit Union Weekly Roundup navigates through critical legislative changes affecting credit card rewards, underlines the importance of collective membership engagement for the coming year, revisits the highlights from our impactful marketing conference, and more. Join us as we consolidate essential takeaways and opportunities that empower credit unions and their members.

Credit Card Rewards Points Legislation: FAQs with Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC

Written by Mitchell B. Pollack, Attorney at Law, Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC

Section 520-e of New York’s General Business Law will go into effect on December 10, 2023, and will now require a forty-five (45) day grace period before a credit card issuer can modify, cancel, close, or terminate a credit card account or its related rewards program.

As stated in the legislative history, the purpose of this statute “is to protect credit card holders from the unmerited cancellation of their reward points…after the closing of a credit card account.”

Unfortunately, the statute contains some ambiguities, which raise questions as to its application, including:

Does the grace period apply when the Member closes the card?
The statute does not differentiate between closure by the card issuer and closure by the credit card holder, so it likely applies in both instances.

What happens if the Credit Union closes a card due to fraud?
The statute does not apply in cases of “fraud” or “misuse.” These terms, however, are not defined in the statute.

What happens if the credit card holder does not redeem their points after the forty-five (45) day notice is provided?
The statute requires that the credit card issuer provide forty-five (45) days’ notice before the change goes into effect, and, then, further provide the credit card holder with ninety (90) days to redeem the points. Once the ninety (90) day period passes, the Credit Union has no further obligation other than to comply with the terms of the underlying rewards points and credit card agreements.

Does the legislation also apply to business accounts?
Yes. While the intent of the legislation was designed to protect the consumer, the statute, by its language, does not limit its application only to consumers.

Can a Member waive their statutory protections, in the credit card or rewards points agreement, if the agreement provided a points bonus for doing so?
No, the statute specifically provides that any agreement to waive or limit its application is void. There are no exceptions to this provision.

As the new law goes into effect, more questions will emerge about the statute and its application. Credit Unions should undertake a review of their credit card and reward points agreements to ensure compliance with New York’s General Business Law Section 520-e.

View the original installment of this series to learn more about the updated legislation.

Strengthening Our Collective Voice: 2024 NYCUA and CUNA Membership

The New York Credit Union Association (NYCUA) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA, soon to be America’s Credit Unions) are unwavering in our commitment to advancing the credit union movement through advocating, educating, supporting, and uniting the interests of all credit unions. We recognize that our achievements are made possible because of your support and active engagement. Your continued support is essential as we approach the new year in which we’ll be competing for the time and attention of policymakers. We need to bring them together on common-sense, bipartisan policies to allow credit unions to do more.

As such, please be on the lookout for your membership dues invoices for 2024 which have recently been mailed out. NYCUA and America’s Credit Unions look forward to building on our strong partnership with New York credit unions in 2024 and beyond.

Recap: NYCUA’s 2023 Marketing Conference

NYCUA’s 2023 Marketing Conference was a success, sparking innovation and connecting peers across the NY credit union community. The event provided a rich learning ground, from marketing fundamentals to emerging trends and the pivotal role of employee engagement in driving member satisfaction. This year’s gathering was more than a marketing meeting—it was an essential convergence for thought leaders in the credit union space.

Watch our recap video to learn more about this event. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for EXCEL 24—June 13-16 in Saratoga Springs!

Apply Now to Crash the GAC!

Dive into the heart of credit union advocacy by joining us for Crash the GAC from March 2nd to March 7th, 2024. This transformative experience is an incredible opportunity for emerging leaders to amplify their impact and connect deeply with the credit union mission.

At the Governmental Affairs Conference, you’ll engage with top-tier keynote speakers, participate in critical discussions with lawmakers, explore innovations in the industry’s most extensive exhibit hall, and expand your network among peers and thought leaders. Make sure to apply soon–the application deadline is November 20th.

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