Bethpage Federal Credit Union Review: Free Checking That Pays Dividends

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Our take: Bethpage Federal Credit Union has a full suite of banking products and offers 34 full-service branch locations across New York City and Long Island, in addition to access to a large CO-OP network across the U.S. Consumers looking for a full-service credit union with competitive rates should consider Bethpage.
  • Opening Deposit Requirements
    5.0
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Breadth of Products
    4.5
  • Customer Service
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • High APYs offered on Bonus Checking (0.40% APY) and Youth and Young Adult Savings accounts (2.00% APY)
  • No special membership qualifications

Cons

  • Only one type of money market account is offered.

About Bethpage Federal Credit Union

Bethpage Federal Credit Union — listed as No. 1 in asset size in New York state and in the top 20 in the nation as of July 2019 — began as Grumman Plant 1 and 2 Federal Credit Union in 1941. In 1974, it became Bethpage Federal Credit Union. Its headquarters are in Bethpage, New York.

Bethpage offers 34 full-service branches across New York City and Long Island. It also offers more than 5,000 shared locations, as well as over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs in its CO-OP network, so members can bank across the U.S. No matter if you’re looking for a banking account, credit card, loan or investment product, Bethpage has options.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union Products

Bethpage Federal Credit Union offers a full array of banking products, such as savings, checking and money market accounts; certificates of deposit; loans; lines of credit; and investing and insurance products.

Product Key Details
Checking Accounts
  • 3 checking accounts offered
  • $5 membership deposit into a savings account required to open a checking account
  • Competitive 0.40% APY offered on Bonus Checking and Young Adult Checking
Savings Accounts
  • 4 savings account options
  • Most options have $5 minimum opening deposit; Special Purpose Account has $1 minimum opening deposit
  • Youth and Young Adult savings options pay 2.00% APY on the first $1,000 on deposit
Money Market Account
  • $500 minimum opening deposit
  • 0.40% APY across all balance tiers
CDs
  • Certificate options for 3 months to 60 months
  • Rates from 0.40%-0.75% APY
Loans and Lines of Credit
  • Mortgage loans
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Personal loans
  • Auto loans
Investing
  • Retirement planning
  • Investment services
  • Wealth management
Insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Gap insurance
  • Debt protection

Bethpage Federal Credit Union Checking Accounts

Bethpage Federal Credit Union offers three checking accounts: Bonus Checking, Youth Checking and Young Adult Checking. Bonus Checking is for adults, while Youth Checking is for children 15 to 17 and Young Adult Checking is designed for people 18 to 20.

Features

  • One-time, $5 deposit into a Bethpage savings account is required to establish membership before opening any checking account.
  • Earn 0.40% APY on Bonus Checking and Young Adult Checking by using your debit card, getting direct deposit and enrolling in e-statements.
  • Youth Checking comes with free checks.
  • $0 monthly maintenance fees on all checking accounts
  • Over 30,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • 5,000-plus shared branches

Pros

  • Competitive dividend rates of 0.40% APY
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Thousands of free ATMs and shared branch locations across the nation

Cons

  •  To earn interest, one requirement is to sign up for e-statements.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union Savings Accounts

Bethpage offers multiple savings account options for a variety of ages and savings goals, such as a personal savings account, a Youth Savings Custodial account, a Young Adult Savings account and a Special Purpose Account. Children and teens up to age 17 are eligible for a Youth Savings account, and young people ages 18 to 20 are eligible for the Young Adult Savings option.

Features

  • $5 minimum opening deposit for personal savings, Youth Savings and Young Adult Savings
  • $1 minimum opening deposit for Special Purpose Account
  • 2.00% APY on the first $1,000 for both Youth and Young Adult Savings accounts

Pros

  • Low opening deposit of $1 to $5, depending on account
  • High 2.00% APY on first $1,000 for savings accounts designed for children and young adults
  • No monthly maintenance fees apply on any of the savings account options.

Cons

  • To open a Youth Savings Custodial account online, the custodian or child must be a resident of New York state.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union Money Market Account

Bethpage Federal Credit Union offers one money market account option, but the 0.40% APY is higher than the national average and what you’ll find at major banks, such as TD Bank, which offers rates ranging from 0.01% to 0.10% APY.

Features

  • One-time $5 deposit into a Bethpage savings account is required to establish membership.
  • $500 minimum opening deposit

Pros

  • 0.40% APY across all balance tiers $500 and up
  • Earns a higher APY than the national average rate of 0.06% APY

Cons

  • Balances below $500 will only earn 0.10% APY.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union CD Accounts

You’ll find a host of CD rates and terms at Bethpage, including a 12-month CD with a 0.45% APY. Plus, you can start with as little as $50. Here’s more.

Features

  • Certificate options for three months to 60 months
  • Rates from 0.40%-0.75% APY
  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • Seven-day grace period following maturity to renew or change account

Pros

  • Low opening deposit
  • Competitive APYs
  • Variety of terms to choose from

Cons

  • CDs opened online have a monthly dividend period and crediting frequency; Select CDs opened at a branch allow you to choose a monthly or quarterly dividend period and crediting frequency.

Banking Experience

Knowing a financial institution has the products you need is only one factor when choosing a new place to bank. The banking experience, including the customer service and branch availability, is also important. Here’s more.

Customer Service

Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s customer service representatives can be reached at 800-628-7070, Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; automated telephone banking is available 24/7. You also can choose to send an email.

    Branch Availability

    Bethpage has 34 full-service branches across Long Island and New York City. And if you’re not in an area with full-service branches, you can make a deposit or withdrawal — among other basic transactions — at any one of more than 5,000 shared banking centers across the U.S. Simply look for the CU Service Center logo.

    Mobile and Digital Experience

    The credit union offers a mobile app for both Apple and Android users, which has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on the App Store and a 4.5 rating on Google Play. Bethpage uses the latest version of Transport Layer Security to keep information that passes through its online and mobile banking sites secure with minimal risk.

        Convenience and Ease of Use

        Bethpage offers a number of ways to accomplish your financial goals and transactions with ease. From full-service branches to shared banking locations, banking across the U.S. is possible. Additionally, you can reach customer service representatives Monday-Saturday, and use automated telephone banking to check your balance or transfer funds 24/7. Or you can utilize the credit union’s online or mobile banking services.

        How To Open a Bethpage Federal Credit Union Account

        Opening a Bethpage Federal Credit Union account is simple. Here’s how:

        1. Have your Social Security number, driver’s license and a funding source for a one-time deposit into a Bethpage savings account to become a member.
        2. Go to the credit union’s Open an Account page.
        3. Choose the type of account you want to open.
        4. Click on the orange “Apply Now” button and follow the prompts to open the account.

        Key Information

        Customer service number: 800-628-7070

        Routing number: 221473652

          Bethpage Federal Credit Union Fees

          While Bethpage Federal Credit Union doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees on its accounts, there are other fees to consider. Here are the amounts for some of the most common fees the credit union charges:

          • Monthly maintenance fees: $0
          • Overdraft fees: $30
          • Overdraft protection transfer (from savings or line of credit): $5
          • Outgoing wire transfer fee, domestic: $20
          • Outgoing wire transfer fee, international: $30
          • NSF fee: $30
          • Money orders: $1 for members with direct deposit, $5 without direct deposit
          • Cashier’s check: Free

          The median overdraft fee for credit unions rose to $30 in 2019, up from $29 the year before, according to a 2019 Moebs Services study. In comparison, Bethpage’s overdraft fee is not out of line for the industry.

            Bethpage Federal Credit Union vs. Competitors

            When you’re trying to decide if a credit union is right for you, it’s helpful to compare apples to apples. Find out how Bethpage Federal Credit Union stacks up to other credit unions you may consider.

            Credit Union Name Best for
            Bethpage Federal Credit Union Competitive 0.40% APY on Bonus Checking account
            Teachers Federal Credit Union High-limit credit card up to $25,000
            ESL Federal Credit Union Visa credit card with 12-month 0% APR
            Hudson Valley Credit Union Debit card rewards program

            Bethpage Federal Credit Union vs. Teachers Federal Credit Union

            If you’re looking for a credit card with a high limit of $25,000, Teachers Federal Credit Union is the perfect fit. Bethpage can’t compete in this area; the highest limit it offers is $15,000. However, Bethpage offers credit card rates as low as 2.99% APR, while Teachers’ lowest credit card rate is 8.75% APR.

                Bethpage Federal Credit Union vs. ESL Federal Credit Union

                If you’re interested in getting a credit card through a credit union, ESL Federal Credit Union’s 0% APR for 12 months can’t be beat by Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s lowest rate of 2.99%. However, Bethpage’s Bonus Checking account pays 0.40% APY versus ESL’s 0.05% APY.

                Bethpage Federal Credit Union vs. Hudson Valley Credit Union

                People who always find themselves paying with their debit card would benefit more from having an account with Hudson Valley due to its debit card rewards program, which Bethpage does not offer. However, if you’re more interested in a free checking account that pays dividends, you can only find that option at Bethpage.

                Final Take

                Whether Bethpage Federal Credit Union is right for you depends on if it offers the products and services you want with the features and rates that will mesh well with your financial lifestyle. People looking for competitive rates, an absence of monthly maintenance fees and a full range of banking products likely will be interested in depositing their money with this credit union. If you’re convinced that BFCU is right for you, take the next step and consider opening an account.

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                    Editor’s Favorite

                    Bethpage Federal Credit Union not only offers a competitive 0.40% APY on its Bonus Checking account, but you’ll earn that APY no matter what your balance. The credit union also offers customer service hours on Saturdays — something other credit unions might not do.

                    Bethpage Federal Credit Union FAQ

                    Now that you're familiar with the products and services Bethpage has to offer, here are answers to some of the credit union's frequently asked questions.
                    • Can anyone become a member of Bethpage Federal Credit Union?
                    • How do I deposit a check to my Bethpage Federal Credit Union account?
                      • You can use mobile check deposit, visit a branch, visit an ATM or mail it to:
                        • Bethpage Federal Credit Union
                        • Processing Center
                        • P.O. Box 2065
                        • Glen Burnie, MD 21060
                    • What does Bethpage Federal Credit Union consider a business day?
                      • A business day is Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, with the exception of holidays.
                    • Can I call a Bethpage Federal Credit Union branch directly?
                      • To better serve its members and keep your accounts secure, Bethpage requests that you call its customer service number at 800-628-7070 instead of calling a branch directly.
                    • Does Bethpage Federal Credit Union offer free money for signing up for an account?
                      • The credit union is offering a bonus of up to $100 for signing up for its free checking account, provided qualifying conditions are met.

                    Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 29, 2021.

                    This content is not provided by Bethpage Federal Credit Union. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

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                    About the Author

                    Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 12 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, Aol, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle, The Seattle Times and The Network Journal. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

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