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Free Checking For Life? Sign Us Up

Bethpage Federal Credit Union in New York guarantees no monthly fees.Bethpage Federal Credit Union in New York has joined the big bank backlash, offering a guaranteed fee-free checking account for life for those who open a new account.

The Bethpage Bonus Checking account guarantees no monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, transaction fees or debit card fees for as long as you keep the account open.

Bethpage won’t charge ATM fees, either, but it also won’t reimburse fees charged by other ATM owners.

And you can essentially turn the account into a rewards checking account and earn 1.00% APY if you make 15 debit card purchase per month, have a direct deposit made into your account and sign up for online banking and eStatements.

In the three weeks since launching the fee-free guarantee, the credit union — one of the largest in the country — says it had opened 1,500 new checking accounts, which is double its usual pace.

Bethpage FCU (www.bethpage.coop) also has teamed up with fellow Long Island credit unions NEFCU (www.mynefcu.org) and Teachers Federal Credit Union (www.teachersfcu.org) to promote the benefits of credit union membership through their joint website Better Banking for Long Island (betterbankingforlongisland.com).

The site urges Long Island residents to make the switch to one of their local credit unions on Nov. 5 — Bank Transfer Day — and all three credit unions offer their members free checking accounts.

All three also offer competitive CD rates. The top deals all beat the best nationally available CDs on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

With a $1,000 minimum deposit, Bethpage pays:

  • 1.80% APY on 36-month CDs (as well as 39-month bump-up CDs).
  • 2.30% APY on 60-month CDs.

With a $1,000 minimum deposit, NEFCU pays:

  • 1.75% APY on 36-month CDs.
  • 2.30% APY on 60-month CDs.

You must live, work or worship in Nassau or Suffolk counties to be eligible to join this credit union.

With a $1,000 minimum deposit, Teachers Federal Credit Union pays:

  • 1.70% APY on 36-month CDs.
  • 2.26% APY on 60-month CDs.

You must live, work or worship in Nassau or Suffolk counties to be eligible to join this credit union.

Bethpage FCU has about two dozen branches on Long Island, and anyone who lives, works or attends school in Nassau or Suffolk counties, as well as their immediate family members, can join.

As of the end of 2009, Bethpage was the 21st largest credit union in the country in terms of assets and had more than 164,000 members, according to the National Credit Union Association.

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