Update 1/24/13: Firstmark Credit Union no longer permits, as a basis for membership, the joining of Friends of the San Antonio Parks.
Firstmark Credit Union is offering up to a $100 bonus for opening its free checking account. After opening the account, the member must complete the following four activities, each qualifies for $25:
- Choose Online Statements
- Use your Debit Card
- Pay One Bill with Online Bill Pay
- Sign Up for Direct Deposit
This bonus is listed in Firstmark's checking account page under both the "free checking" tab and the "premier checking" tab as of 9/18/2012. There's no expiration date listed.
You can apply online, by phone or at a branch. If you apply online, enter promotion code GET100.
Here's the small print of the offer:
Promotion code – GET100. Offer cannot be combined with other promotional offers. Services must be activated within 30 days of account opening. Bonus amounts will be added systematically within 60 days of the service activation. You must select online statements/ turn off paper statements. Credit can take as long as 90 days because the account goes through our statement processing. You must make a minimum of two $50 direct deposits within 60 days (ensures your money is in your account faster) credit occurs within 24 hours of the second ACH deposit of $50 or more (If it's a paycheck and they only get paid once a month, it can take 60+ days.) Limit one $100 bonus per member.
The checking account has no monthly service charge. Bill pay and mobile banking are free, and the first box of checks is free. Another perk is cash back for debit card purchases. They give 10 cents back for each debit card purchase (non-PIN only).
My last post on this credit union was a year ago when it had some very competitive CD rates. The current rates are respectable, but they are no longer on top.
Two of the readers who applied for these CDs noted in the comments that they received a hard credit inquiry from Equifax. I would guess the same would be true for checking account applications.
Online Application and Easy Eligibility
Firstmark Credit Union makes it easy for anyone to join via an association membership. The following is listed in the credit union's membership qualifications page:
Members of the Friends of the San Antonio Parks Foundation are eligible to join Firstmark Credit Union. Firstmark Credit Union will pay your first-year membership fee directly to the Foundation; you are not required to renew your Friends of the Park membership.
If you click "open an account" button, it'll take you to an online application. From the first application page, select "become a member". That takes you to the application eligibility page. If you select "Other Eligible Groups" and "none of the above", and then select "next", it will display the following:
You are eligible to join Firstmark Credit Union by becoming a member of The Friends of the Park Foundation. Firstmark Credit Union will pay your first-year membership fee directly to the Foundation; you are not required to renew your Friends of the Park membership.
Membership requires a minimum $5 balance in the Smart Savings Share Account.
Firstmark Locations and Overview
Firstmark Credit Union branches are all located in San Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be part of the shared branch network.
The credit union has an overall health score of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 12.88% (above average) based on June 2012 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Firstmark Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 62509).
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.