You can grab a $100 bonus for opening a free checking account at BrightStar Credit Union in south Florida.
That’s a nice perk just for joining. But it may not be the best of what this credit union offers.
It also has a top certificate of deposit offer that pays well more than the best nationally available bank deal for its term.
Your first step is to open a savings account with the Sunrise-based credit union. That requires only a minimum $1 deposit. Then you can open a checking account, which carries no monthly fees and has no minimum deposit requirement.
When your checking account is opened, the credit union will deposit $100 into your savings account.
Although it will earn interest (the savings account pays 0.20% APY), you won’t be able to withdraw that bonus for seven months.
During that time you’ll need to make at least four transactions per month — making check card purchases, having checks clear, receiving direct deposits, using online bill pay, making withdrawals or deposits at a branch or making ATM deposits.
If you do that for seven months, you’ll be able to access the $100. If you don’t meet the requirements, you’ll lose your bonus.
To take advantage of the CD offer, you’ll have to become a Platinum Star member.
To do that, you’ll need to have direct deposits of at least $500 a month to your checking account or have at least $20,000 in combined balances with BrightStar. Combined balances include deposit account balances, loan balances and investment balances. You’ll also need to use online bill pay at least once a month.
As a Platinum Star member, you can open a 23-month Smart CD for a minimum of $500, and earn 1.50% APY.
The best 24-month deal on our CD Rates Leaderboard pays 1.30% APY. That deal is offered by Dallas-based NexBank (www.nexbank.com) with a $10,000 minimum deposit.
BrightStar membership is available to anyone who lives, works or goes to school in Broward or Palm Beach counties, in Florida, as well as their family members. The credit union has six south Florida locations.
For more information, visit www.bscu.org or call 800-637-2728.
Compare the certificate offer to the best CD rates from scores of banks in our extensive database.