LAKE JACKSON, Texas-TDECU's $1,000 A Day checking offer has done more than boost checking growth by 30% year over year; it's deepened member relationships.

As much as the goal was to bring in new accounts at a time when consumers are fed up with their banks, TDECU structured the giveaway to encourage existing members and new ones to take more services.

"This has been a very good program," said EVP/COO Stephanie Sherrodd.

TDECU has been awarding $1,000 every calendar day and bases members' chances to win on their checking account standing and banking activity for the day of the drawing. TDECU gives members one entry for every $100 in their checking account, one entry for every debit or ATM transaction, 10 entries for every TDECU auto loan that's in good standing, one entry for every online bill pay, and 10 entries if the member is enrolled in e-statements. All of the chances to win are recalculated every day, so members start fresh each day and can win multiple times.

"The more products and services you use the more chances you have to win, and we have seen tremendous lift in online banking and e-statements," said Sherrodd, who acknowledged the $1.8-billion CU had hoped new checking growth would reach 50% this year.

Nonetheless, Sherrodd said the credit union plans to run the promo again. "It's been great and got a lot of people looking at TDECU. It's an excellent way to attract new members and reward existing members for their business. Plus, it's been a lot of fun. The employees love it, the members love it, and it's just a different approach than we have ever taken to the market."

TDECU, which started the effort last May, plans to keep $1,000 A Day Checking going through the end of the year and may likely extend into 2012, Sherrod said.

TDECU's membership checking penetration is 60%, and no pricing changes were made to its free, no-minimum-balance checking account for the offer. The checking account offers free online and mobile banking, bill pay smartphone apps, and e-statements. The account paid .25% APY at press time.

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