Pros: Student benefits, Online Banking, Great customer service
Cons: Not many home locations
BECU is the Boeing Employees Credit Union. The people who are eligible to join, are anyone who has a relation working for Boeing. My dad works for Boeing, so back when I was old enough to have my own savings account, he helped me sign up for one, and shortly after helped my brother sign up for one. Since then, I have also signed up for a checking account, and for active web-services through the web site that they have at http://www.becu.com. BECU is there as the bank for anyone working for Boeing, and provide a great direct deposit program that allows your paychecks to go straight from your works bank, into your account.
Ever since I can remember, I have used BECU as my way to either cash checks, or to withdraw money from the 2 accounts that I have there. Back when I was in High School, I remember my mother driving me from Renton where I lived at the time, over to Tukwila where their main branch offices are located. And this is not your normal looking bank when you go there. It was the biggest building I had been in up to that point. Stretching many stories into the sky, they have a foyer with a huge lobby, which leads to an area where 21 tellers are there to serve all of your banking needs. This is one of the things that they really need too, because when it comes to payday at Boeing, everyone rushes the bank to perform some kind of transaction. But, having so many tellers helps the lines to keep from getting too big, and allows them to spend all the time that is needed with each customer to make sure that they leave happy.
BECU operates pretty much the same as any other bank on the outside, and allows you to save money in your accounts the way that you see fit. The only real regulation that they have on the accounts regarding money is that you keep a minimum of $5.00 in the savings account. You can zero out your checking account if that is what you need to do. They also provide you with a little chart with which you can figure out how much interest you will be getting, what it is based on, and when you will receive it:
The items are broken down by these categories Product / Dividend Rate / Annual Percentage Yield (APY) / Minimum Opening Balance* / Dividends Compounded / Dividends Credited
Savings ....1.00% 1.01% $5 Monthly /Monthly
Money Market ........1.10% 1.11% $0 Monthly /Monthly
Variable IRA Savings..1.10% 1.11% $0 Monthly /Monthly
Checking ...0.50% 0.51% $0 Monthly /Monthly
The rates have been pretty good for me, and the dividends are usually posted to your account on the first of the month, which is really helpful if you are trying to keep track of your interest for the year.
One of the things that has been beneficial to me, is that BECU issues a bank card, that allows you to withdraw funds from any other credit unions ATM without being charged a usage fee. The card is also provided free of charge, and comes in handy when you just need to run to the cash machine. In addition there are 22 ATMs around the state which have been set up by Boeing for BECU users to go to when they choose. Unfortunately, I now live in a part of the state where there is not one, but at least I have a Washington State University Credit Union machine that I can use instead.
If you are having trouble financially, BECU offers many different loan programs that you can decide to apply for and go in to. They include, but are not limited to; auto, home equity, new line of credit, boat, recreational vehicle, new credit card and HELOC. They even make it easy on you by allowing the first stage of the application process to be online at their website. The bonus, is that they update the status of your loan application, and what needs to be done right on the site as well. This can make it very easy for someone who might not have ever applied for a loan, or has gone through the process before. The rates depend on what you are applying for, but if you are interested in knowing specifics, they are also available on their web-site.
The web-site, actually, is the best thing that Boeing Employees Credit Union has to offer. It is something that allows everyone who uses BECU to side-step the process of going into the bank on a weekly or monthly basis. As soon as I went to college, I signed up for the ability to access all of my information directly from the web-site. The web-site allows me to not only see the accounts that I have there, but to see the history of transactions that I have undertaken with the accounts. This is really beneficial for things like checks, where it keeps track of each check that has gone through, when it went through, and for how much it was. This really helps me out, because at times I get lazy with keeping track of my transactions on my own, and the site lets me catch up by printing out a monthly transaction list.
There are actually pamphlets that answer the question: Why sign up for BECU Online Banking?
? 24/7 account access
? Fast, secure, reliable
? Make payments and transfers
? Free Bill Payment
? View cancelled checks
I have to tell ya, I do a lot of my balancing, and checking of my funds at around 1am or 2am, and having a site that gives me access 24 hours a day is really helpful from a bank, because I no longer have to make my schedule fit around my banking needs. Since I also have direct deposit with my paychecks, I rarely even interact with the bank other than to log on to the site and see what my balances are sitting at. The really cool thing that you can do with the site is set it up so that when you have a bill due at a certain time, you can set up your account to withdraw the money and pay it without you even doing anything. So, if you sit down one month and figure out how much you will be paying towards insurance or credit card bills, you can set it up to pay on a specific date each month and then never worry about it, until you want to change the amounts. That is what I already have it doing with my credit card, and soon I will be doing my cable the same way.
BECU is one of those things that makes my life a lot easier. I no longer have the hassles that come along with using a normal bank, and from what I have heard I sit at a higher interest rate than those people using a bank. Also, for students there are a lot of benefits with using BECU. First of all, they provide free checking, including checks, for students. They also provide scholarships that students can apply for, and take with them to college if they continue to do well. On top of that you can get your statements online, so if you are moving around all the time, you dont have to worry about constantly changing your address with a bank. BECU has been a great time-saver for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has the ability to use it.