Co-op Connections Card
Co-op Membership Card Connects OEC Members with Businesses
The top priority for electric cooperatives has always been focus on their member-owners and the communities they serve. This concept is the cornerstone of a new card-based program OEC is bringing its members.
First introduced in 2006, Co-op Connections cards provide cooperative members discounts on products and services at local and national businesses. In June 2008, OEC and Touchstone Energy® introduced a new prescription benefit associated with the card, offering cooperative members even more discount opportunities. Members presenting their Co-op Connections card to participating pharmacies will receive up to a 60 percent discount at more than 48,000 independent pharmacies and national chains including CVS, Walgreen, Wal-Mart, and Target!
The new cards, with prescription benefit information printed on back, were mailed to members in June 2008.
“All they have to do then is present it at participating businesses to begin realizing their savings. There are no sign-up or annual fees," says Jack Ferrell, OEC’s marketing and member services director. “We are excited about the potential savings out there for our members.”
Participating businesses determine their own discounts, and the offers can change throughout the year. Co-op members can visit the Co-op Connections Web site at http://www.connections.coop to learn what discounts are available—something Ferrell encourages them to do regularly to stay up to date.
"They also can look for the Co-op Connections participant stickers in storefront windows or near store cash registers, and continue to read the OEC News,” he says. “Lists of participating businesses and some of their special promotions will be featured regularly."
Touchstone Energy®, an alliance of more than 600 electric cooperatives nationwide, including OEC, is making this program available and it is being adopted by cooperatives across the nation in an effort to promote local companies.
Scott Williams, a marketing manager at Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, who has been instrumental in bringing the program to Oklahoma, says he was able to save $30 a night at a Best Western hotel the first time he used his card.
Williams and Ferrell are both encouraged by the response to the program. They say partnering with businesses benefits the whole community.
"There is no out-of-pocket expense for the companies. We do the advertising for them, so the only costs they have are the ones associated with the savings they offer,” says Williams. “We feel it's a win-win situation for our communities."
Businesses wanting to participate in the Co-op Connections Program can contact Tory Tedder at (405) 217-6726 or by e-mail for more information. They may also fill out the Participating Business Contract, which can be printed and faxed to (405) 217-6904.
According to Ferrell, there will be a Co-op Connections booth at the annual meeting, where members can learn more about the program and the discounts currently offered. Members who show their cards at the booth can register for a special prize drawing.
"We want our members to start realizing the benefits of being a 'card-carrying member' and feel this is a good way to kick off this new program," he says.
If you have questions about the Co-op Connections Card program or how your business can participate, call Tory Tedder at (405) 217-6726 or Jack Ferrell at (405) 217-6703.