If you weren't able to take advantage of the $300 checking account bonus that Northwest Federal Credit Union (NWFCU) was offering in April, this new $200 offer may appeal to you. Unlike that old offer, this new $200 checking account bonus is being offered to all members who have not held a NWFCU checking account. To qualify for the first $100 requires 3 consecutive payroll direct deposits of at least $500 each received by 10/31/12. The second $100 requires that the account remain active and a minimum of two consecutive payroll direct deposits of at least $500 each received between 11/1/12 and 12/13/12. Full details are described at this NWFCU promotions page. The new checking account must be opened by 9/19/2012.
Below is a copy of the small print for this offer:
Qualifications for checking account apply. To earn $200 bonus; must be your first checking account with NWFCU and opened between 7/19/12 – 9/19/12. Closed accounts reopened during the promotion period are not eligible. Three consecutive payroll direct deposits of at least $500 each to the new checking account must be received by NWFCU between 7/19/12 – 10/31/12. $100 Bonus will be credited to member’s NWFCU checking account on the business day following the third qualifying direct deposit. Additional $100 Bonus will be credited to the checking account on 12/14/12 if account remains active and a minimum of two consecutive payroll direct deposits of at least $500 each have been received between 11/1/12 - 12/13/12 into the NWFCU checking account. The bonus will be reported on your year-end 1099-INT statement. Offer cannot be combined with other direct deposit offers.
There's also a sweepstakes for a Home Theater System. Qualifying for the bonus will automatically register you for this sweepstakes.
NWFCU Checking Accounts
Anytime there's a checking account promotion, you have to be careful about the qualifying checking account. Often there are fees that can eliminate the benefit of the bonus. That's not the case with NWFCU which has a free checking account called Basic Checking with no minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees.
NWFCU has other services that make it easier to manage a checking account. First, NWFCU is part of ATM networks which give members free access to ATMs around the nation. NWFCU members with checking accounts have free access to CO-OP and Alliance One ATMs.
Second, NWFCU is part of the shared branch network which allows members to conduct most account transactions at 4,500+ locations nationwide, including credit union branches and CU Family Service Centers.
NWFCU has an online membership application, and on the first page of the application it lists several options to qualify for membership including joining the Financial Awareness Network (FAN). This makes it easy for anyone to join with a $10 one-time fee. More details about the field of membership are listed in the credit union's Membership Eligibility page. You can also join by mail or at a branch. Details are described in NWFCU's Join Now page.
NWFCU CD Deals
Many readers joined NWFCU when they used to offer competitive CD rates. Unfortunately, NWFCU's CD rates are not as competitive as they used to be. One exception is the 2-year Jumbo CD which has a 1.26% APY as of 7/24/2012. One note about the standard certificates is that higher rates (up 0.25%) are available to Premier Checking members and Heritage Club members.
Northwest Federal Credit Union Overview
Northwest Federal Credit Union branches are located in the Virginia cities of Manassas, Chantilly, Herndon and Vienna. You can also use shared branches for making deposits, withdrawals and for other common banking transactions.
It's a large credit union with over $2 billion in assets. The credit union has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 8.78% (above average) based on March 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of NWFCU for more details. NWFCU is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 5500).
Other Credit Union and Bank Bonuses
We have a bank promotions page with a table of all of the active bank and credit union promotions. You can filter the table based on the type of promotion and based on your state. I have more details about how to use this page in this blog post.