WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., – Part of the credit union difference is the value returned to the member. Beyond the end of year dividends, credit unions have developed creative programs to reward members while boosting their portfolios. Here is just a sample of how credit unions choose to give back to members: For parents concerned how to save for their child or grandchild's future needs, Kelly Tyler Federal Credit Union in Tyler Texas offers Kidicates. The Kidicate is a share certificate for children under the age of 16. This 24-month share certificate pays 1% above the credit union's current 24-month certificate rate and can be opened for a minimum of $200. "This was the brainchild of Vice President Samantha Bruce," said KTFCU President Scott Rose. "We first introduced it during late 2000 when there was a struggle with liquidity. We've brought it back this year to help members out since the rate is higher than regular saving account rates and as a way to establish a relationship with members under 16." San Luis Obispo, California-based SESLOC Credit Union has decided to help its members reduce their credit card debt with the VISA Member Appreciation Program. Members who maintain their accounts in good standing will qualify for a 10% refund of finance charges billed to their SESLOC Visa account. Refunds will be credited on Dec. 31, 2001. "We want to encourage people not to carry big balances, so in essence with the 10% refund at the end of the year we reduce the interest rate members are paying and help them get control of their finances," said SESLOC CU Marketing Director Carla Swift. "We just thought our members need assistance that is meaningful to them so this is a way for us to give them support for their loyalty to us." Just in time for summer vacation, McKay Dee Credit Union in Ogden, Utah is offering its members a free vacation package with every $10,000 + loan over five years. Vacation packages are for two adults and three children to travel to 24 destinations including Hawaii, Florida and New York to name a few. Depending on the location the stay ranges from three days and two nights, to seven days and six nights. The credit union purchases the package in bundles of 150 at wholesale from a local travel agency. "The response has been incredible," said McKay Dee CU Loan Officer Cindy Pierson. "Not only are members so happy with their vacations, but the program has helped increase our loan volume." [email protected]

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