Why you should think local for your credit card

November 23, 2020
Paying a credit card in a holiday sweater

The holidays are very nearly upon us, and we’re all looking for the smartest ways to save (and spend). One thing that’s always true, no matter the time of year: Credit card offers are plentiful from providers both large and small. With so many to choose from, it might be hard to know what’s right for you — so we suggest starting at home, with your local community bank. There are several reasons opening a credit card with your friendly community bank makes sense; let’s go through them together.

Trust. These are folks you know, many of them by first name. They are in — and committed to supporting — your community. You feel safe with them overseeing your deposits, loans, and other banking needs, and chances are very good they would take that same great care with this account, because their reputation hangs in the balance.

Transparency. You won’t have to go far to find the rates, fees, terms, and conditions. If you have questions regarding the disclosures, an explanation is nearby. Your local bank owes it to you to be forthcoming, with no surprises. They already have your relationship and want to keep it.

Security. The same institution that works to keep your money and information safe is going to work hard to do the same with your credit card information. And if a breach or compromise were to occur, your local bank has more of a vested interest in sweeping up the fallout. Additionally, fraud prevention features such as fraud alerts and texts are easily investigated by your bank’s customer support team — they’re pros at this stuff.

Great service. Whether it’s a serious issue like a lost or stolen card or a simple question regarding a payment or balance, you want your questions answered in a timely and polite manner, and to feel as important as you did when the offer was extended. Again, your local bank is in the business of great service.

Online convenience. The beauty of online banking is that it allows you to do all the things you do over the phone or in person on your device or computer. And having a credit card through your local bank means making an online payment is a snap — you can do it at the same time you check your balance, make a transfer, or pay another bill.

Points and perks. People often associate the best deal on a certain perk (cash back, airline miles) with a certain card simply because they have advertised that benefit, or they just assume that national banks’ cards will offer the best deal, but your community bank may certainly be worth a look. The rewards systems are often easy and self-service — a fun, relaxing way to shop with your free money.

Welcome offers. The same thing is true here: We often associate big offers with big banks. But think how your community bank lays out the welcome mat for their customers throughout the year; it makes sense that they would do the same when offering you a credit card. This time of year, those perks can translate into additional holiday shopping. For example, right now, when you open a Rewards or Signature Rewards credit card with UBT, we’ll give you 5,000 bonus points once you’ve made 10 purchases within the first 60 days. That’s $50 cash back — or points you can redeem on purchases, travel, gift cards, and more.

Build your credit — or be rewarded for the credit you have established. Your local bank may be the best place to obtain a secured card if you are trying to build (or rebuild) credit. Your deposit secures the card and acts as the limit. After a designated time period, your bank may reward healthy credit behavior by returning the deposit and transitioning the card to conventional credit card. Conversely, your local bank can offer better card deals as a reward for higher credit scores or repayment history, with decisions being made by local folks who know you.

There are many reasons that a community bank credit card may be the right choice for you. To learn more about UBT’s credit cards, or to apply online, click here. No matter which card you choose, we wish you safe and stress-free holiday shopping and the happiest of holidays!


  • Personal
  • Building Credit
  • Credit Card
  • local

Offer subject to credit approval. Valid on approved Rewards and Signature Rewards Credit Card applications received between November 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021. Bonus points offer available after 10 posted purchase transactions are made within 60 days of credit card open date. Member FDIC.

Learning Center articles, guides, blogs, podcasts, and videos are for informational purposes only and are not an advertisement for a product or service. The accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal, and financial advisors.