The biggest shopping day of the summer is here, and credit unions are making a push to ensure as many members as possible put the CU’s card top of wallet when it’s time to buy.

Monday, July 16 marks the fourth year of Amazon Prime Day, when consumers around the world visit the online retailer in the hopes of finding major price cuts on high-cost items like TVs, phones, smart devices and more. Prime Day is reminiscent of Black Friday, but avoids the hysteria associated with holiday shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. And as more and more consumers take their business online, credit unions are doing all they can to make sure they’re the first-choice payment option when it comes time to check out.

Prime Day begins at 3 p.m. ET on Monday July 16 and will run through 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 17. Within the United Kingdom and Australia, Prime Day will kick off at noon on July 16 and run for 36 hours in both countries.

In order to entice members to take part, credit unions are offering a slew of promotions tied to Prime Day, including giveaways, free Amazon Prime memberships, and chances to win sizable gift cards if members use the credit union’s card for Prime Day purchases.

One such institution is Family Trust FCU in Rock Hill, S.C., which is offering members the chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card every time they make a Prime Day purchase using their Family Trust credit or debit card.

“With Prime Day being one of the largest shopping days of the year, we wanted to do something to keep Family Trust debit and credit cards top of mind so our members reach for our cards versus others,” said Katie Stacks, product manager at the $480 milion-asset credit union.

This will be the credit union’s first year running the promotion and Stacks said CU officials anticipate an increase in the number of cardholders making Amazon purchases as well as an increased total transaction volume.

Prime Day veterans

While Family Trust is new to Prime Day, other credit unions are veterans of the event, including Evansville Teachers FCU in Evansville, Ind., where members who use their rewards-based debit or credit cards for Amazon purchases can get five times the number of rewards points they would usually earn.

“Last year was the first year we ran this promotion, and we received a lot of positive feedback from our members,” said Brent Joyce, Vice President of Marketing at Evansville Teachers Federal CU. “A primary goal of the promotion is to become top-of-wallet for our members’ online payments, so we feel this ties in perfectly with that goal.”

The CU is also giving away five Amazon Prime memberships, which Joyce said helps generate further excitement for the event, promoting it via email, its website and in members’ online banking platforms.

Similarly, Michigan State University FCU is utilizing online and social media techniques to promote Prime Day savings with their membership. MSUFCU members who partake in Prime Day will be entered to win a $250 Visa gift card after checking out.

Given that sales continue to surge each Prime Day, MSUFCU Chief Marketing Officer Deidre Davis is hoping for similar or better results compared with the promotion that they offered last year.

“We first offered a promotion around Prime Day in 2017,” said Davis. “Comparing 2016’s Prime Day to 2017’s Prime Day, MSUFCU members’ purchases on Amazon with MSUFCU cards increased 59 percent for debit cards and 47 percent for credit cards, well surpassing our goals in both categories.”

In order to participate in Prime Day, customers must be Amazon Prime subscribers. Besides the significant savings that customers enjoy, Prime Day is a vehicle to attract new membership for Amazon. An Amazon Prime membership will run new members $119 year, a $20 price increase that took effect on May 11.

Although Amazon doesn't share their revenue statistics from previous Prime Days, it's estimated that the Seattle-based company will reach $3.4 billion this year, according to retail think tank Coresight Research.