bank rates

Long Island Deal: 3.05% Checking Account

NEFCU pays this rate on balances up to $25,000.Long Island residents can earn some serious green with a GO Green Checking account at NEFCU, a Westbury, N.Y.-based credit union.

It’s a typical rewards checking account, and you can earn 3.04% APY on balances to $25,000.

Given the increased restrictions on rewards checking accounts nationwide, that’s a fairly generous interest rate and balance cap.

There are no minimum deposit requirements to open an account and no minimum balance requirement to earn 3.04% APY.

In fact, you might consider looking at this account as a replacement for your savings account (or at least as a companion) because of how much better it pays than even the best nationally available savings accounts.

New York-based CIT Bank (www.bankoncit.com) pays the top rate available to all savers at 1.05% APY, and that’s only if your balance is $25,000 higher. Some money market accounts pay slightly better but still less than half of what NEFCU offers.

To earn 3.04% APY with a GO Green account (www.mynefcu.org), you must make 12 debit card transactions each month, sign up for eStatements and either have a monthly recurring direct deposit of at least $100 or use online bill pay at least once a month.

Any portion of your balance that exceeds $25,000 earns 0.50% APY.

If you fail to meet the monthly requirements, you won’t earn any interest on any balances below $25,000.

In addition, NEFCU is part of the Allpoint ATM network, with free access to more than 43,000 ATMs worldwide.

All of the ATMs you see in 7-Elevens, Targets, Walgreens and Costcos, for example, belong to Allpoint.

And the credit union will pay up to $15 in out-of-network ATM fees per month.

Anyone can join the credit union who lives, works, attends school or regularly conducts business in Nassau or Suffolk counties in New York. Or an existing member can sponsor a family member or household member to join.

It takes just a $5 deposit to open a Share Savings account, which is required if you want to join NEFCU. Then you can open a Go Green Checking account.

You can submit your membership application online or at one of the credit union’s 11 locations on Long Island.

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