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I have been a member of State Employees' Credit Union since I was a young teenager. Each branch is friendly, even if you do have to wait to be helped. The checking account I have is average. Nothing special. However, there are great perks that come with membership! I have access to the coin counting machine for free! I also received low rates on my personal loan and credit card. The standard debit card that was sent to me has a smart chip which is great for international travel. And the interest rate on my savings account is much higher than I can find at any other bank. My only complaint is that SECU does not offer mobile deposit.
I have had many cards, but the Victoria's Secret store card is my favorite by far! The design is cute and adorable. The interest rate is a bit high, but similar to other store cards. The rewards from having this card are amazing! The coupon book and specials that come with this card are wonderful. When you use the card you earn reward points to work your way toward a $10 gift card. But you can also join their credit card services (one for identity protection and another for unemployment protection) and receive a $20 gift card for each service. I did this and then cancelled the services before I was charged. Worked well! If you are a fan of lingerie then this is a must-have card!
The Best Buy store card is a good choice if you are into technology. I got this card to finance a TV purchase. The interest rate is similar to other store cards. I was excited about the Reward Zone points. I used my card often over a period of fifteen months, but never received any of the bonuses that I was promised. Out of frustration, I paid the card off and closed it because I wasn't getting the rewards I thought I would. THREE YEARS after I closed the card, I got a Best Buy gift card for $75. Overall, I would recommend this card but advise that you pay close attention to the reward points you accumulate.
The British Airways Visa Signature Card seems like a decent deal. The annual fee of $95 is comparable to other travel cards (like American Airlines and the new PNC travel visa card.) I like the interest rate being around 15% since other cards are usually about 20% to 25%. The initial bonus miles and earn rate are attractive, but again, similar to other offers. I really like the Smart Chip technology since many destinations abroad require this chip. The only downside is that I'm not crazy about earning Avios. The Avios reward system is much more frustrating than the straightforward award system that American Airlines offers. Just make sure it's a right fit before you commit!
A few months ago I got a new car and was looking for the best rates to get a new car loan. Hearing that credit unions had the best rates, I shopped around. First Flight ended up being a great choice. I received a very low interest rate that I was perfectly pleased with! Decided to open up a checking and savings account to get away from the big banks and have everything in one place. It was so nice to find a credit union with an open and easy member enrollment process! Very smooth transition and friendly staff. Would definitely recommend to others in the area.