SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sometime the old adage "more money, more problems" does not always ring true. For The Golden 1 Credit Union, a $30 million windfall from the sale of its STAR ATM Network stock presented an opportunity to reward members. "We felt an obligation to return it to members, after all it is their credit union," said The Golden 1 CU President/CEO Stanley C. Hollen. "And we wanted to do it in a way that would reinforce to members that we are not a bank and the value in belonging to a credit union." The board, Hollen and senior staff executives set up a laundry list of how to best return the money to members ranging from future discounts of services such as a waiver of fees and reduction of car loan rates, to a bonus dividend refund of interest paid. Meetings through early summer narrowed down the list and under the concept of emphasizing the value of membership, a reward program revolving around services began to evolve. Initially $10 million would be put in reserve with the remaining $20 million split between bonus dividends and package discounts/forward incentives. Another round of discussions resulted in approximately $3 million being used to double the VISA rebate, which is usually 1%, and $7.5 million to reward based on the number of services used so that each service received $15.50. In the end, benefits would be passed to members in the form of a one-time Bonus Dividend; a one-time Relationship Dividend; and a one-time 2% Cash Rebate for Golden 1 Visa card users Based on the total year-to-date interest earned as of July 1, 2001, bonus dividends applied only to those accounts held by members on or before July 1, 2001. According to Hollen, the final version gave a smoothing effect by striking more of an average. So the minimum amount a member earned would be $5 with a high end earning potential of about $3,400. The one-time relationship dividend rewarded members based on the total number of additional qualified services the member uses. Qualified services included various deposit accounts and loans. Members responded extremely well to this one especially when an exception was made to count each credit card account as separate services. The 2% cash rebate increase was equally well received as it was applied to VISA purchases since January 2001. Playing up the "credit union difference" rewards were deposited separately so that members could "see" the value adding up. "It was really a collaborative effort looking at concepts, ideas on how to distribute the funds," said Hollen. "We just wanted to show our appreciation for our members and really help pave the way toward a relationship pricing with our members so they see that the more you do with a credit union the better your return." [email protected]

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.