Monthly Archives: July 2010

Share the Love and Win $250

We share so much these days, why not share your Credit Union. Share the benefits of BrightStar CU membership with your circle of friends, family and co-workers, and we’ll enter both of your names into a monthly drawing for a chance to win $250 each when the referred member opens a new membership with us.

We’re awarding a combined $500 prize at the end of each month in 2010. The more members you refer, the better your chances of winning. Plus, your entry will remain in the drawing every month (if not selected) which increases your chances to win! Visit www.bscu.org/sharethelove more information.

10 Ways to Dine Out for Less

From time to time, BrightStar will offer helpful financial tips on our blog. Today we’re focusing on ways to save money when you dine out.

  1. Visit swanky places for breakfast or lunch. It’s the same atmosphere for lower prices.
  2. Order two appetizers. It’s sometimes cheaper than one entrée, but for the same amount of food.
  3. Indulge in a nice bar of chocolate or ice-cream cone rather than having a pricy restaurant desert.
  4. Dine on Mondays or Tuesdays for “early week” deals.
  5. Ask the waiter what the specials cost. He may not say and you don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised when the check arrives.
  6. Bring your own wine. The corkage fee can be a deal when compared to a restaurant bottle.
  7. Always ask about student, senior, and children’s discounts.
  8. Look in your local paper for coupons. Even expensive restaurants offer them.
  9. Have a small snack before you go to avoid ordering too much.
  10. Always inspect the check carefully for errors. Look to see if the tip was included too, particularly of you are a large party – you’ll double the gratuity if you’re not alert.

Need New Wheels?

One of BrightStar’s best kept secrets is our FREE auto advisors service. Auto Advisors is the “no hassle, no haggle” way to buy a car. Shopping for a new vehicle can be stressful, time consuming and a downright hassle. Save time and avoid stress by speaking with BrightStar CU’s Auto Advisor. The call costs you nothing, and the services are free.

Here’s what Auto Advisors can do for you:

  • Find the vehicle of your choice
  • Negotiate the best price
  • Arrange BrightStar CU financing to suit your needs
  • Eliminate the hassle and haggle
  • Save you time and money

 It’s Easy as 1-2-3!

  •  Simply call the BrightStar CU Auto Advisors at 954-497-4186
  • Get pre-approved for a low rate auto loan from BrightStar CU.
  • Receive prompt, courteous haggle free service

Bye Bye Free Checking?

The Big Banks are up to their tricks again. Check out the latest bank news: Wells Fargo, one of the largest retail banks in the country, will no longer offer free checking accounts–and they will now charge new customers a $5.00 monthly fee for basic checking, eliminating two types of free account services that the bank had previously offered.  Read the article for yourself here: http://bit.ly/bUTXcN

This is one of the reasons we started this blog, to let everyone know that you do have a CHOICE!  Break the bank habit. BrightStar members understand the difference, the Credit Union difference.  BrightStar offers real FREE checking accounts with no monthly fee, no minimum balance, no strings attached, and NO plans to change it!  Plus our checking accounts are loaded with free perks, like Visa Extras on your debit card, BALANCE financial counseling and more.

If you haven’t made the switch, do it now.  It’s easy.  Just go to our home page and select “Join us today” or “Add and Account”.  You can open your BrightStar checking account quickly and safely online in minutes.

Did you know BrightStar CU has over 4000 locations?

BrightStar CU members can access their accounts at more than 4,000 locations through National Shared Branching. A Shared Branch is a different credit union that can help you access your BrightStar CU accounts just like you were at one of our branches! The number of locations continues to grow rapidly. So now if you’re not near any Publix Presto machines (which all provide free ATM service to BrightStar CU members), or not near a BrightStar branch, you have another option: visit a shared branch. Florida has 250 shared branching locations. There are 14 locations here in the Broward area besides the BrightStar CU branches. It’s also super convenient for when you travel there are more than 4,000 locations nationwide. For more information and to search for locations visit www.bscu.org/locations

Start Saving Now for Next Year’s Vacation

It’s summer, and we all know what that means – Beach, BBQ and Vacations! For some this means digging for loose change in the couch cushions to fund a fantastic summer getaway!  If only that loose change could even get you to the end of the block.  It takes money to have a great getaway and we know how hard it is to save our hard-earned dollars.

If you’re still paying for a vacation long after your return home, then there’s a problem! No worries, we’re here to help you out with a few steps to get you on the right track, listen up.

 Step 1: fill out an expense worksheet! Track exactly where your dollars go over a month and you’re bound to find financial waste. I guarantee some numbers will shock you! Be honest when filling it out – are those lattes as cheap as you thought they were?  

 Next Step: set up a savings or wish account at BrightStar CU and start depositing $50- $75 every payday. Saving is tough, but we have to start somewhere.

You’re on your way now! Final stop: BrightStar CU and BALANCE have partnered to provide you, with financial education, confidential counseling, easy to use on-line calculators, a free or low-cost copy of your credit report and a FREE self study program on how to manage your checking account. Check out the great online tools to help you make the most of your hard-earned cash.

SIGN ME UP: Important Changes Regarding Courtesy Pay

Hey, let us help you out. Many BrightStar members enjoy the benefits of Courtesy Pay. With Courtesy Pay, items such as checks, ATM/debit card transactions and automatic bill payments may clear your account even if you don’t have enough funds when the items clear. This could be a great convenience for you by helping you avoid the embarrassment of insufficient funds when you’re making a purchase— and helping you when you need cash from an ATM in an emergency. Due to recent regulatory changes, we are required to remove Courtesy Pay service on your account for ATM and everyday debit card transactions unless you affirmatively consent, or opt into payment of overdrafts for ATM and one-time debit card transactions. If you would like to have and/or keep this service, please visit our website at BSCU.org/signmeup to complete the required form. If you have been utilizing Courtesy Pay in the past, you will lose the convenience of this service if you do not specifically opt in.

 For more details, visit www.BSCU.org/signmeup

Where Could $10,000 Take You This Summer?

 

You could win $10,000, just for paying your BILLS, using BrightStar’s FREE Online BillPay. To enter our summer sweepstakes, Simply pay at least 3 bills using online BillPay in before July 31, 2010, and you’ll receive an entry into the sweepstakes for EVERY bill paid!

  • GRAND PRIZE – $10, 000
  • 1st Prize – $1,500 Travel Certificate
  • 2nd Prize – Amazon KindleTM DX Wireless reading device & a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card
  • 3rd Prize – $100

Visit BSCU.org to get started today! www.bscu.org/online/billpaysweepstakes2010.htm