Many people avoid credit unions due to the stigma about memberships, fees, and restrictions. It’s true that you do need to qualify for membership to be part of a credit union. However, many of them will pay membership dues as long as you qualify for an account. In fact, most credit union memberships are easier to get into than you might first think. They may also offer promotional bonuses for new members as well.
If you’re unsure which credit unions you might qualify for, in addition to their corresponding promotions, don’t sweat it. We’ve compiled a list of the best credit union bonus promotions you can take advantage of. Some of them are excluded to specific localities. The majority of them, however, apply to customers across the nation just like you. You may even find a new community when you join these credit unions.
Plus, many credit unions offer specific perks for their members only. These can include everything from new member bonuses to discounted loan rates, higher savings account interest rates, and other special offers. That’s because the focus of a credit union remains on its existing members instead of catering to the masses. Customer service rises to the top of the priority list with any credit union.
Are you ready to see what credit union bonus promotions you can take advantage of? Let’s get started!
Requirements for Credit Union Membership
Unlike private banks and even national banks, credit unions restrict their membership based on their own requirements beyond just financial qualifications. These often vary from location to membership in specific organizations that the credit union may partner with. For example, Navy Federal Credit Union offers membership to active military members and their families.
Many credit unions also award membership based on where you work or live. If you’re a freelancer, you may not qualify for the career requirements, but you could potentially qualify if you live in a specific county or region. There typically aren’t age requirements for membership in credit unions, but if you’re working age you are more likely to qualify.
Best Credit Union Bonus Promotions
Some of the best bank account bonuses come from credit unions. In fact, you might even be able to earn some passive income by opening an account with your local credit union. See which opportunities you can take advantage of with the credit union promotions listed below.
Alliant Credit Union – $100
There are many promotions to choose from when you open a new account at Alliant Credit Union. You can earn up to $100 if you open a new account and become a member of Foster Care to Success. In fact, Alliant Credit Union will pay your $5 membership fee for you. You’ll also need to deposit $100 per month for 12 months, but those deposits don’t have to be directly from an employer or the government.
Alliant Credit Union offers one of the best CD rates as well if you are looking for a jumbo certificate. Alliant Credit Union allows you to earn up to 5.45% APY on your balance.
You’ll get the most bang for your buck if you choose an 18-month term, but you’ll need at least $75,000 to get started. Terms range from 3-month CDs to five years, with tiered withdrawal penalties.
Alliant Credit Union offers share certificates, which are a credit union's version of a certificate of deposit (CD). Alliant's CDs range from three months to five years, and are available with a minimum deposit requirement of either $1,000 or $75,000. As of February 2024, Alliant's CD rates range from 4.00% to 5.45% APY, which is higher than the average CD rate.
A+ Federal Credit Union – $100
If you open a free Cash-Back Checking account with A+ Federal Credit Union, you’re on your way to earning $100. You can open the account online using promo code 2022SEG100, visit a local branch, or call 512-302-6800.
There are several ways to qualify for membership with A+FCU. Besides joining a particular organization, you can also donate $10 to the A+ Education Foundation. Once you do qualify for membership, the credit union will refund your $5 membership fee and you’ll receive $25. You’ll also get an additional $75 within a week of depositing $800 in payroll funds.
Arizona Central Credit Union – $200
New members of Arizona Central Credit Union can earn $200 for opening an account and performing at least 15 credit card transactions within the first 60 days. You’ll also need to sign up for eStatements and have a direct deposit of at least $250 per month to qualify.
If you belong to or work for one of Arizona Central Credit Union’s partners, you can easily qualify for membership. AZ Central CU also offers additional banking services such as business, savings, and investments.
BECU – $100
You don’t have to work at Boeing to earn $100 for opening a new checking and savings account using the code CAREERPATH. You can qualify for membership by joining KEXP and donating $10 once. To earn the $100 reward, you’ll also need to make five of the following transactions:
- Make a purchase using your new BECU Debit Mastercard
- Write a check or electronic check
- Pay a bill
- Deposit $500 or more into your new checking account
It’s easy to get rewarded when you become a BECU member.
If you’re looking to avoid bank fees like monthly maintenance fees, check out the Benchmark Ultimate Account Package. This bank account features a savings account, checking account, and debit card. When you open a new account and set up recurring monthly payroll deposits of at least $200 within 60 days, you can earn a $300 bonus.
If you already have an account with Benchmark, you can add a checking account with a debit card and qualify for the bonus. Your debit card earns 2% cash back on all purchases. Benchmark will even refund your ATM fees up to $10 per month as well. There’s no monthly fee or minimum balance required to open the account or maintain it. Once you qualify for the bonus, you should receive it within 90 days.
Depending on which type of account you open with Clearview Federal Credit Union, you can earn up to $500 in promotional bonuses. All you need is the promo code “switch” and to follow the basic requirements.
Clearview Federal Credit Union offers an Absolute Checking account as well as a Basic/Simple/Fresh Start/Fresh Start Pro Checking account. Your bonus amount will depend on which account you open. These accounts provide you with digital banking benefits like 5% cash back on purchases at select local shops.
To earn up to $500, you will need to sign up for eStatements and set up a deposit of at least $500 in the first 60 days. You’ll get $100 for opening a savings account within the first seven days of opening your new checking account and $100 more for keeping the account open for a year.
Community First Credit Union – $200
Open a new Advantage or Bonus Debit Checking Account with Community First Credit Union to earn $200 in rewards. You can also receive paychecks up to two days earlier, along with 1.5% APY on your first $500 (this comes with the Advantage Checking account only). There’s no minimum balance requirement and you can apply online, at a branch, or over the phone. All you need is the promo code “CHK2022” if you apply online.
This promotional bonus from Community First Credit Union is split into separate parts. You can earn $25 with a debit card attached to your new account and enroll in the Save My Change Program. You’ll earn $150 more for starting a cumulative Direct Deposit and earning $1,000 within the first 90 days. Finally, you’ll earn $25 more to refer a friend. In fact, you can earn $25 per friend you refer, up to $125.
Community First Credit Union does require a $25 minimum deposit to open a new checking account. You must also open a share account with a $5 deposit. That $30 can quickly turn into $200 with Community First Credit Union.
Credit Union of Texas – $250
Use the promo code “250” to open a new account at the Credit Union of Texas to earn $250 in rewards. You’ll need to deposit at least $25 into the account when opening your new Secure Plus Checking Account and have a direct deposit of $600 or more set up within 60 days. Your account must remain open for six months to qualify for and keep the $250 bonus.
If you are under 25 and qualify for a Secure Checking account, you won’t need to pay the $6 monthly maintenance fee. The Secure Checking Plus Account comes with a $10 monthly fee that’s waived if you are a veteran. As long as you live in select communities or work for/attend an institution of higher learning, you’re eligible for membership.
Florida Credit Union – $300
When you open a free Value Checking or Interest-Bearing Checking account with Florida Credit Union, you can earn $300. There’s no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement. All you have to do to qualify is use the promo code 22CHK300, make a single or combined deposit of $500 or more within 60 days, and keep the account open for 90 days.
Your eligibility for a Florida Credit Union account is based on the county you live and work in. When you open an account with FCU, you’ll also get a free Visa debit card, and free membership and access to other FCU products and services. In addition to checking accounts, Florida Credit Union also offers business checking.
KeyPoint Credit Union – $300
This California-based credit union started back in 1979 as AEA Credit Union. Between the seven branches located within the sunshine state, there are over 63,000 customers who appreciate the perks this credit union offers them.
For example, you can earn up to $300 by opening a checking account with a $25 deposit, joining the Financial Fitness Association (at no cost to you), and depositing at least $1,000 within the first 50 days. You’ll also need to make at least 40 purchases within the first three months of ownership to complete this promotion.
Provident Credit Union – $300
Founded by the California Teachers Association in 1950, Provident Credit Union now serves over 100,000 customers. When you become one of those 100,000, you can earn $300 by completing the following requirements:
- Use promo code 9772 to open a new Provident account
- Deposit $25 within 60 days
- Join one or more of the organizations on this list
- Make $400 or more in purchases with your Provident debit/credit card for two consecutive months, starting the month after you open your account
- Within those same two months, deposit at least $500 or more
- Enroll in online banking and eDocuments with a valid email
Banking online with Provident Credit Union is easier than ever. Earn your free $300 by signing up for an account now.
SECU – $200
A credit union specifically for Maryland state employees, SECU offers new customers $200 to open a Total™ Checking & Rewards account with a $10 minimum deposit. To be eligible for membership and the bonus, you’ll need to join the SECU MD Foundation with a one-time donation of your choosing, sign up for e-statements, and set up a qualifying direct deposit of at least $500 per month within the first 90 days. Once you complete all those steps, the $200 is yours.
USECU – $50
This credit union rewards highway employees as well as state employees of California. USECU’s tiered bonus rewards you with $50 for opening a new checking account with promo code “NewMover.” If you set up a direct deposit of at least $250 within 90 days, you’ll get $50. Finally, keep the account open for six months total to get $100 and six more months (12 total) to earn $100 more. As long as you qualify for membership, it’s an easy enough way to make some free money.
No, not all credit unions charge membership fees. However, the organization with which they’re associated may require fees. While some credit unions will pay those fees for members, this is not always the case.
Commercial banks often operate across the nation and provide generalized services for their members. Generally speaking, credit unions are smaller and tend to focus on a specific locality or area. Emphasis is placed on serving local customers’ needs.
Navy Federal Credit Union serves the most customers nationwide. However, several smaller credit unions serve quite a few people, including those on our list above.
Improve Your Finances with a Credit Union Bonus Promotion
We hope you’ve found this article on credit union bonus promotions helpful in seeing how many opportunities there are out there for earning some extra cash. While it might not always be easy or possible for you to qualify for membership at all these credit unions, there are likely a few in your neighborhood that you can take advantage of. In addition, you may find the perks that come with these accounts rival those of national or even commercial banks. Which credit unions will you join, and how will you spend those rewards?
Other Bank Promotions:
A free account with unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. You don't have to worry about keeping a minimum balance with Axos' Rewards Checking. As with the bank's other checking accounts, there are no monthly fees, and all fees charged by domestic ATM operators are reimbursed. Axos doesn't charge any ATM fees itself.