Northwest Credit Unions Incentivize Savings with Favorable Interest Rates

A nationally syndicated blog incorrectly stated credit unions are not paying above two percent interest on savings, but Northwest credit unions prove otherwise.

4/9/2019

STCU’s recent Facebook post poked a little fun at an inaccurate report on savings account interest rates.

It doesn’t take April’s annual designation of “Youth Savings Month” or “Financial Literacy Month” for credit unions to incentivize members to save money. It’s what they do day in and day out as not-for-profit cooperatives.

A survey of marketers through the Northwest Credit Union Association’s listserv netted some outstanding examples in literally minutes. Your Association decided to dive into the latest on credit union interest savings rates after spotting a Bloomberg article, republished by the Seattle Times last week, that failed to include credit unions, which in numerous cases, offer better returns than for-profit financial institutions.

“Credit unions are not included because none that we know of are paying rates above 2 percent,” the article stated.

Wait. What? We thought Bloomberg should know what credit unions really are doing, so we reached out.

Member credit unions quickly shared the opportunities they are offering to consumers – and these opportunities are definitely above 2 percent. Here are just a few:

  • Spokane Valley, Washington-based Horizon Credit Union’s Tether Shares account is paying 2.01 percent on balances up to $15,000
  • Eugene, Oregon-based SELCO Credit Union’s Bump & Boost Certificates pays as high as 3.05 percent APY for a 5-year term.
  • Portland-based Unitus Community Credit Union’s Go Savings pays 3 percent APY.
  • First Tech Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates all pay over 2 percent over 12 months.
  • · St. Helens, Oregon-based InRoads Credit Union’s Boost account pays 2.50 percent APY.

In addition, many credit unions pay interest on checking accounts. For example, Spokane Federal Credit Union told us about their checking account that pays 2.02 percent APY on balances up to $10,000.

STCU in Spokane got creative with its Facebook response to the article.

“We got a chuckle out of The Seattle Times’ April Fool’s Day story,” the credit union posted. “Ha ha! Good one! At STCU, we’ve been paying 5.09% APY on your first $500 in savings for more than a decade and are currently paying dividends up to 3.04% APY on five-year certificates with $2,000 or more.”

Editor’s note: We’ve made Bloomberg aware of the opportunity to do consumers a service by reporting on the benefits of membership in a credit union. We monitor media reports daily and work with news outlets to showcase the ways in which Northwest credit unions are serving 7.3 million consumers in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.