I’ve previously mentioned that you’ll occasionally find interesting financial products at local banks and credit unions. Today, I present three obscure credit cards to make that point.
BENEFIT: 0% financing any time you want for the life of the card
The Coastal Federal Credit Union, based in Raleigh, NC, offers a card called the Big Ticket Card. The selling point of this card is that you can get 0% financing on big purchases, hence the name of the card. According to the fine print:
A special rate of 0% APR applies for 6 months on individual purchases (single –receipt purchases) or balance transfers of $600 or more during the life of the account. After 6 months any remaining unpaid balance will convert to the standard rate of 18.00% APR. For purchase and balance transfer under $600 the standard rate of 18.00% APR applies.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a 0% APR ready to go any time the mood strikes you? If you’re interested, here are the credit union’s joining guidelines as per the credit card’s Amazon page:
You may be eligible for membership through an immediate family member or one of our more than 1,000 companies and associations we serve. If you are not eligible through one of these methods, you will be required to establish a membership with the North Carolina Consumers Council (NCCC) or the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA). The NCCC or NCSEA require a low, one-time fee of $18.00.
BENEFIT: Rewards points for balance transfers
For obvious reasons, major credit card issuers won’t give you points for balance transfers onto their credit card. I did find one credit union that will, however: the Congressional Federal Credit Union. From their website:
Visa® Platinum with CURewards® offers measurable value because you earn points for your purchases – points you can redeem for travel (on any airline) and name brand merchandise. Plus, you’ll receive a:
- Special introductory 4.90% APR* for the first six months on new purchases.
- New Account Bonus. During the first 30 days your account is open, earn 1 point for every $2 you transfer from other financial institutions
Membership in this credit union is open to employees of the House of Representatives, a number of lobbying groups, and their family members.
BENEFIT: Free term life insurance
Okay, it’s only for 60 days–but still, how often do you see this? The United Nations FCU offers $1,000,000 in life insurance free of charge for the first 60 days when you enroll in their insurance program. The rates are not good–you’re looking at $2,500 per year for $1,000,000 of coverage–but hey, it’s free, right?
I can see you concocting diabolical schemes right now, so let me cut you off right there and point out a few things from the fine print:
After enrollment in the program, there is a 6-month waiting period for coverage to begin for death caused by illness. If a claim due to illness arises within the 6-month waiting period, premiums will be refunded. After the 6-month waiting period, death as a result of illness will be covered.
So no registering for the terminally ill.
Enrollment is only open to UNFCU credit and debit cardholders between the ages of 18-65 who are in good standing; however, enrolled members may maintain their coverage until age 70. Policy will expire upon insured’s 71st birthday.
If you want some life insurance coverage between ages 65 and 71, this might be a good way to do it.
This program does not cover the following: i.) Nuclear, Chemical, or Biological Terrorism. ii.) Commission or attempted commission of any illegal act including but not limited to felony by the insured. iii.) Death resulting directly or indirectly as a result of suicide, attempted suicide, intentionally self-inflicted injuries or deliberate exposure to exceptional danger (except in the attempt to save human life). iv.) Death caused in any way or contributed to by the Assured Person being under the influence of alcohol, or drugs, except as prescribed by a registered qualified practitioner. v.) Death as a result of participation or involvement in acts of war and/ or terrorism. vi.) Death as a result of war, declared or undeclared between any of the following countries, China, France, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America, war in Europe, whether declared or not, other than: (i) civil war, (ii) any enforcement action by or on behalf of the United Nations, in which any of the countries stated above or any armed forces thereof are engaged.
As per the website, membership in this credit union is restricted to the following:
- An employee or retiree of the United Nations and affiliated agencies
- An employee of the United Nations International School
- An employee of the US Fund for UNICEF
- An employee of the United Nations Child Care Center
- An employee of the United Nations Foundation
- Employees of the United Nations Association
- Employees of USA for UNHCR
- Family to a UNFCU member (includes spouses, parents, children, grandchildren, grandparents, brothers and sisters)
- An individual who resides in and shares financial responsibility of a household with a UNFCU member