Guardian Credit Union plans to offer its members the Buzz Points merchant-funded debit loyalty program, which emphasizes social media interaction.

Austin-based fisoc Inc. provides the free Buzz Points program to allow consumers to earn points they can redeem for local gift cards, cash cards, and donations to local non-profits, Guardian states in a Dec. 30 press release.

Members can earn points by shopping at one of the 7,500 locally owned merchants in the Buzz network, the credit union says.

The credit union plans to offer the Buzz Points program in all six of its branches in the greater Milwaukee area, Guardian Credit Union president and CEO Steve Wesson says in the release.

"In this digital age, we found the social aspect of the program especially appealing whereby our members can earn extra points for connecting to Facebook and Twitter and sharing their rewards experience with friends," Wesson says.

Guardian Credit Union has more than $225 million in assets and more than 35,000 members, making it the largest credit union in the Milwaukee region, it says.

Buzz Points, founded in 2010, operates with community financial institutions and local businesses in 16 states to provide the debit card rewards program with the local shopping theme. Discover's Pulse debit loyalty program also uses Buzz Points.

In January, Cadence Bank NA in Birmingham, Ala., began issuing Discover debit cards with the Buzz Points program. 

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