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Credit union pushing 'no fee' promise

Bethpage Federal Credit Union chief executive Kirk Kordeleski.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union chief executive Kirk Kordeleski. Credit: Michael Ach, 2010

Bethpage Federal Credit Union members are getting a new a lifetime guarantee, one containing a number of  No's.

That would be: No checking account fees, no debit card fees, no monthly maintenance fees, no Bethpage fees for using foreign ATMs. The guarantee’s in effect as long as members maintain a checking account, said Bethpage president and chief executive Kirk Kordeleski.

The pledge, coming in reaction to several large banks’ announcing new fees for debit transactions or checking accounts, makes it clear the credit union’s existing no-fee policies will continue down the road, he said. “As a cooperative, this is what we do,” said Kordeleski

In the three weeks since Bank of America announced its $5 monthly debit card fee for most of its customers -- causing considerable consumer outcry -- Bethpage says it’s opened close to 1,500 of its free, interest-bearing checking accounts. That’s twice the customary number for the same time period, the credit union reported.

As a further (some might say gimmicky) incentive, new members get a hard-copy certificate, suitable for framing, that ticks off all the fees they won’t be paying.

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