In October, BrightStar Credit Union (BrightStar) was offering a 13-month and a 23-month Smart CD Special, earning good (but not great) rates. Earlier this month, BrightStar upped those rates – 13-month (2.85% APY) and 23-month (3.10% APY) – and unveiled a 35-month Smart CD Special (3.35% APY). Any of these limited-time offers can be opened with a minimum $500 deposit and there is no stated balance cap.
The Smart CD Specials are also available as IRAs (Traditional, Roth), earning the same APYs with the same funding requirements.
As stated on the Smart CD Promotion page, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
If your account has an original maturity of one year or more:
The penalty we may impose will be 180 days of interest, WHETHER EARNED OR NOT.
Thanks to DA readers, blakeb and Carpline, for their Forum posts about BrightStar’s CD Specials.
Headquartered in Sunrise, Florida, BrightStar Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is residency-based, with individuals who live, work, or attend school in the Florida counties of Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, or St. Lucie eligible to join.
”Anyone associated with any educational institution in Broward County” also qualifies for membership.
Family members (blood, marriage or adoption) of anyone who is membership-eligible are welcome to apply, even if they do not reside in the same household.
While the 13- and 23-month Smart CD Specials can be opened online, the 35-month is not listed on the online application. When I pointed that out to CSR, he was surprised. After speaking with his supervisor, he offered this work-around for members who don’t live near a branch: deposit the funds you wish to use to open a 35-month Smart CD Special through a Shared Branch location, contact the Member Service Center (954.486.2728), and open the CD Special over the phone.
Credit Union Overview
BrightStar Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.00% (excellent) based on September 30, 2018 data. In the past year, BrightStar has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $25.23 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 6.29%. Please refer to our financial overview of BrightStar Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 67347) for more details.
BrightStar Credit Union was founded in 1946 as the Broward Schools Credit Union. With just $300, 26 Broward County public school teachers obtained a charter for what has become the 34th largest credit union in Florida. Expansion of the FOM did not begin until 2005, when a community-based charter was adopted, allowing anyone residing in Broward County to join. Following the charter change, the Credit Union re-branded as BrightStar. In 2016, six more South Florida counties were added, and recently an additional 16 counties became part of the FOM. BrightStar currently serves nearly 58,000 members, with assets in excess of $483 million.
How the Smart CD Specials Compare
When compared to 239 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available within the FOM, BrightStar Credit Union's 35-month Smart CD Special APY currently ranks first.
When compared to 250 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that require a similar minimum deposit and are available within the FOM, BrightStar Credit Union's 13-month Smart CD Special APY currently ranks third.
The above rates are accurate as of 12/21/2018.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table.