Bethpage Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Money Market and Certificates

Bethpage Federal Credit Union offers easy membership eligibility and above-average certificate rates, plus a free checking account that can earn interest.
Ruth Sarreal
By Ruth Sarreal 
Edited by Yuliya Goldshteyn

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Bethpage Federal Credit Union
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Money market
  • Checking
  • Customer experience
  • Overdraft fees

Overall institution rating

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

Broad membership criteria make it easy to join Bethpage Federal Credit Union. With competitive certificate rates and fee-free accounts, Bethpage could be an appealing option for those looking to join a credit union.

Best for: Those who want competitive certificate rates as well as a free checking account that can earn interest and are unlikely to overdraft.

Pros

  • No monthly fees.
  • Competitive rate on share certificates.
  • Large, free, nationwide ATM network.
  • Anyone can become a member.
  • No minimum opening deposits on checking accounts.

Cons

  • Expensive overdraft fee.
  • Hard to find basic information about some accounts.

Full review

Certificates of deposit

Bethpage Federal Credit Union Certificate
Bethpage Federal Credit Union Certificate

CD

Federally insured by NCUA

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY
4.00%
3-year APY
3.00%
5-year APY
3.00%
Minimum deposit
$50

Bethpage offers competitive share certificate (a credit union's version of certificates of deposit) rates, well above the national average. Terms from three months to five years are available, and the minimum deposit to open is $50. That’s a lot less than other institutions require.

» Want to compare? Check out our list of the highest CD rates

Money market

Bethpage Federal Credit Union Money Market Account
Bethpage Federal Credit Union Money Market Account

Money market

Federally insured by NCUA

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
1.15%
With $500 min. balance for APY

The Bethpage money market account, which is a kind of savings account, offers an annual percentage yield that’s much higher than the national average and higher than the credit union's regular savings account — as long as you have a balance of at least $500. But online banks offer much higher APYs. See our list of the best money market accounts, which offer more interest. (Read more about MMAs vs. savings accounts).

Bethpage’s savings account, which didn’t factor into our rating, offers an interest rate that's better than what you’ll find at traditional big banks but well below the best savings rates available.

» Want better APYs? See our picks for the best high-yield online savings accounts

Checking

Bethpage Federal Credit Union Free Checking
Bethpage Federal Credit Union Free Checking

Checking

Federally insured by NCUA

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$0

The Bethpage Free Checking Account doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement or monthly fee. To earn interest on your balance, you’ll need to meet a few requirements: Opt in to online statements instead of paper ones, receive a direct deposit and make at least 10 point-of-sale transactions with your debit card. If you prefer to use your debit card when making purchases, it could be worth it to use this checking account and earn interest.

As part of the Co-op Solutions network, Bethpage offers more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs. Even if you use an ATM outside the network, the credit union won’t charge you a fee (though the ATM owner might).

» See how Bethpage stacks up: Consider our picks for best checking accounts

Customer experience

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Unlike other credit unions that require you to live or work in a certain area to be eligible to join, Bethpage only requires that you be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and open a savings account with at least $5.

Bethpage offers about a dozen of its own branches, all of which are in New York. Through the Co-op Solutions network, Bethpage members also have access to a network of more than 5,300 shared branches across the country. (Read more about shared branch credit unions.)

Online banking is possible through the credit union’s website and mobile apps, which earn high ratings from iOS and Android users. Some information can be hard to find on the site, but you can find answers to common questions in the FAQ section or by typing in a search in the support section.

Customer support is available by phone from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET on Saturdays.

» Shop around: Compare Bethpage to the best banks and credit unions for mobile banking

Overdraft fees

2.5

NerdWallet rating 

Unlike other banks and credit unions that have reduced or eliminated overdraft fees, Bethpage continues to charge a fee of $30 per overdraft. Because there’s no limit to the number of times the credit union can charge you the fee, it’s possible to rack up a high overdraft fee tab.

You can opt to link a savings or money market account or line of credit for overdraft protection; the fee is $5 per transfer. Opting in to courtesy pay — meaning the credit union will pay for transactions that overdraw your account so you can avoid declined transactions — is available but is subject to the $30-per-transaction fee.

» Tend to overdraw your account? Check out the best banks for overdrafts

How does Bethpage Federal Credit Union compare?

Discover® CD

Discover® CD

Member FDIC

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.0

/5

APY 

5.00%

APY 

4.80%

Minimum deposit 

$0

Minimum deposit 

$2,500

Learn more

at Barclays

Learn more

at Discover® Bank

Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.