About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Credit Unions That Paid Out Special End-of-Year Dividends


One of the advantages of credit unions is that any profits credit unions make are paid back to their members. If a credit union has a good year and its reserves and capital are in excess of what is necessary, it will often make a special end-of-year payout (dividend) to its members. A credit union will usually determine the amount of the dividend based on how much deposits and loans a member has with the credit union.

In today's environment, these payouts have been rare. Just like banks, credit unions' profits have been hurt by loan losses, weak loan demand and low investment returns. Another cost to credit unions has been the assessments from the NCUA to pay for the corporate credit union bailout.

Even in today's environment, there have been a few credit unions that have announced dividend payouts for 2010. I've found four of them and listed them below with the amount of the dividends and details from the credit unions about how they determined the amounts of the payments. Do you know of other credit unions that have paid special dividends for 2010?

  • Dfcu Financial reported a $19 million "Special Patronage Dividend". With 85K members, that comes out to $224 per member. According to the credit union, "Qualifying members receive a one-half percent (0.5%) dividend on their average loan and deposit balances, with each eligible member receiving at least $50. This includes all savings accounts and loan balances."
  • Eastman Credit Union reported a $4 million "Extraordinary Dividend". With 111K members, that comes out to $36 per member. According to the credit union, "ECU borrowers and savers are both rewarded. The more business you do with ECU, the larger the dividend you could receive."
  • Hanscom Credit Union reported a $730,000 "Loyalty Dividend." With 44K members, that comes out to $17 per member. According to the credit union, "The award total represents a 2.5 percent bonus on dividends earned and consumer loan finance charges paid over the year."
  • FAA Credit Union reported a $300,000 "end-of-year rebate." With 45K members, that comes out to about $7 per member. According to the credit union, "All members who paid interest or earned dividends during the year will be rewarded with a two-percent rebate and/or bonus."

Do the credit unions that pay annual dividends have the best deposit rates? Being profitable is a good sign that they're making loans which means they need deposits. Three of the above four do have competitive deposit rates. I've long reported on Eastman's top CD rates. FAA Credit Union has been offering great rates on its reward checking account for over two years. I haven't reported much on Hanscom FCU, but I noticed they currently do have several competitive deposit rates.

Previous Comments
  |     |   Comment #1
I received a check at the end of 2010 for $75.00 from NWFCU. This was the first time. I did have over $200000. on deposit with them.
  |     |   Comment #2
I also received a check from NWFCU and was very pleasantly surprised.  This was the first time I had ever received any type of award of any kind from a credit union, in good times or bad. 

Although my total amount on deposit is a fraction of the first poster's, my check was for $100.  However, I have 4 accounts other than the share account required for membership, so perhaps that's why (in my best Sally Field impersonation: "they like me, they really like me!").   ;-)

I like NWFCU, in any case, because I have had consistently excellent customer service there, and this payout makes me even happier to be doing business with them.
  |     |   Comment #3
Count Polish & Slavic FCU as giving a dividend in 2010 as well
  |     |   Comment #4
Empower Federal Credit Union paid 2.5 million back to its members for the last two years!!
  |     |   Comment #5
sounds like credit unions wear the white hats.  No wonder more people are switching from big banks to small credit unions.
  |     |   Comment #6
About a month ago I got a $50 special dividend from CEFCU deposited direct to my savings.  I only keep the minimum in Savings but do have a mortgage with them.  Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  Here's a URL to a news article on it.


Savings rates are not competitive (0.20-0.35%) but their mortgages were when I refinanced about a year ago.
  |     |   Comment #7
good for some of you that seem to have these kinds of CU's

The one I use here Ft Lee FCU has no such animal, and only gives .65% on a 1 yr CD regardless of the amount.

  |     |   Comment #8
With NWFCU, I also rec'd $75, have two jumbo cd's.  This was the first time ever receiving bonus money from a Credit Union.  Nice way of them, to say thank you to their customers!!!!
  |     |   Comment #9
I also received the $ 75."bonus" from NWFCU.Very nice!
  |     |   Comment #10
At last count I belong to 7 different CU's and have never received a dividend/profit share check.
  |     |   Comment #11
I moved some money from one local credit union to another in April because their rates went down. It was a large sum because we are saving for a home. I received a insert with my statement in Dec. to go to their website and put our savings and loans (none) into their calculator to see about how much we will get on Jan 14. The cash rebate will be put in our savings account. The calculator said 1700. I assumed I did something wrong and I called to see if I was doing it correctly. The gentlemen said yes but would have to wait until after the first of the year until the board made the final decision. They said I could take most of the money out on Jan 1 (because their rates went down) and it would not change the cash rebate as they call it. If the figure is correct I think I should divide it by 4 because the money was not in the Omni credit union for the full year and I might get around 1200-1300. I asked the them if there should be a decimal in that figure and he said no. I will try to remember to get on this site this weekend to post what I did get. I have never heard of a cash rebate before.
Ritchie Rich
  |     |   Comment #12
I also received a check from NWFCU. I almost threw it in the garbage, thinking that it was junk mail. I am glad that I took a second look. :-)
  |     |   Comment #13
Hawaii State Employees FCU has been giving bonus payments since at least 1993 based upon either your loan amounts or savings/CD amounts (nothing based upon credit card balance).
Credit Union Girl
  |     |   Comment #14
My family also received a loyalty reward of $125 from Northwest Federal Credit Union. We donated it back to the NWFCU Foundation io help those less fortunate. My credit union has always been there for me with loans and great dividends.
  |     |   Comment #15
The DFCU dividend is a sham.  Less than half of its 200,000 members actually received a payout and most only received $50.  On the surface it appears that members are being rewarded. However, when you factor in the fact that they offer some of the lowest yields on deposit accounts in the Detroit metro area and charge some of the highest uncompetitive interest rates on loans one begins to realize that a relationship with this credit union is not in their best interest.  All they are doing is rewarding some members by ripping off those that have loans with them.  I would much prefer that they simply offer better rates on savings and loans and forget the marketing gimmick they have created with the "special dividend".  I hope someone from DFCU reads this post.
  |     |   Comment #16
Today  our credit union put their cash rebate in our account. We received $1248.60. Never heard of this before. We joined in April. We did have a large amount in the savings account because we are saving for a new home. Their rates went down in Dec. Their tiered savings account was paying 1.5%, which was the highest in our area at that time.
Little Boy Blue
  |     |   Comment #17
I received a $540 "extraodinary dividend" from ECU.  I have done business with them for quite some time and have never noticed anything like this before. Perhaps I am doing more business with them these days. Regardless, we are sooooo thankful for the money! Thanks for the post as well, Ken! 

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