BrightStar Credit Union just increased the rate on its special 11-month Smart CD to 5.25% APY. The minimum deposit is $500. The yield is 5.50% APY for Platinum Star members. The CD is also available in an IRA.
Less than two weeks ago Brightstar had been offering this Smart CD with a yield of 4.50% APY. It's surprising to see the credit union bump up the rate by 75 basis points. Perhaps they're trying to beat WaMu's CD special.
Membership is open to anyone who lives, works or attends school in Broward or Palm Beach County, Florida. You can also be eligible if your family member is eligible to join. Please refer to the credit union's Join-Us page for more details, and please verify with the credit union. Membership requires a minimum balance of $1 in the Primary Savings Account.
There's an online application for new membership and new accounts. However, the Smart CD is not an option in the application.
Details of potential fees are described in the disclosure document (pdf). If the savings balance is under $100 during the month, and there are no other accounts, a $5/month savings account participation fee is charged.
Branches are located in Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lauderhill, Margate and Pembroke Pines. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 67347). It has $281.9 million in assets and 38,550 members.
Finding a financially sound institution in Florida with high deposit rates can be difficult these days. Brightstar CU might be one. It has some solid financial ratings: 5-star rating (superior) at BauerFinancial and a 4-star (sound) at Bankrate.com. Both are based on 6/30/08 data.
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this promotion in the finding the best deals post.