Awesome Savings Account for Emergency Funds!

by J. Money - Published April 5, 2017[Edit]

love and money

What’s up, savers!

Okay, as promised last week – here’s that killer savings account I was talking about to help us hit that $1,000 mission faster :) Or if you’re just in the market for a good savings account, for that matter.

It comes from Thrivent Federal Credit Union, and offers cash rewards through brightpeak financial (all lowercase on purpose, you know the trend). brightpeak is a division of Thrivent Financial, but serves the millennial crowd.

Most online banks or credit unions I come across are typically the same (free accounts, no nonsense fees, low balance requirements, etc. – and all the same here too), but the two parts that really caught my attention with brightpeak were:

  1. They literally call their account an emergency savings account!! This is so smart as it’s such a staple of Finance 101, yet I know of no other account created just for this.
  2. If you stash $50/mo into it for two years, they will drop an additional $100 right into your account for you. And if you’re playing the $1,000 Savings Game from last week, you’ll be sure to hit it :)

Similar to what most of us financial bloggers preach, brightpeak is all about getting people to have at least $1,000 stashed away in case of an emergency. So, this account is set up to do exactly that over the years. In fact, if you stick to it you’ll actually come away with $1,300 in the end! $1,200 from your own savings over the two years, and then an additional $100 from brightpeak. WIN-WIN.

Here’s a graphic that shows the difference between saving with Thrivent Federal Credit Union and others, when you save $50/mo continually for one year (it factors in brightpeak’s savings rewards):

brightpeak savings chart

Now on the flip side the dividends that Thrivent Federal Credit Union pays aren’t the greatest, so it only makes sense to sign up if you’re gonna play by the rules and go after that $100 reward in the end. You probably don’t want to stash $10 or $20 Gs into it, but they make for an excellent “savings starter” account or for other short-term goals you’re working towards. After of course leaving the first $1,000 alone for emergencies ;)

Another thing to be aware of is that in order to be a member of Thrivent Federal Credit Union (and open an account), you have to be a member of Thrivent Financial, a not-for-profit membership organization of Christians. To be a member of Thrivent, you’ll have to agree that you or your spouse are a Christian seeking to live out your faith. But don’t worry – they won’t go around checking to see if you go to church every week or anything, haha, though you’ll still have to be comfortable with this.

So yeah! If you’re looking for a solid online savings account that’ll reward you for doing something you should be doing anyways (!), check’ em out –> brightpeakfinancial.com*

Couple that with our $1,000 savings challenge from Monday and you’ve got the perfect set up! And in fact, brightpeak is rocking their own challenge too – aptly called The $500 Savings Challenge, haha… – so merging that in can speed it all up too :)

While ours is more about setting aside money each week to hit the goal, theirs is about helping you *find more money* so that you can HAVE this money to be stashing around. It’s a 7-day (free) email course, and every day they’ll send you daily tips and advice on how to make – and stick – to savings goals, along with other tricks to help you spend less and avoid major mistakes over the years.

To learn more about brightpeak’s challenge, click here: The $500 Savings Challenge

Hope all this helps! Now it’s just about *committing* to saving the money and making it happen. The best time to plant that money tree was 20 years ago, but the second best time is today :)

*******
PS: This is random, but when I was looking into all the other products and tools brightpeak offers, I came across another division of theirs called The Love & Money Project™. I was intrigued, of course, and when I clicked I came across a handful of baller t-shirts they sell. Check out this one – totally getting it to score some good brownie points up in here ;)

wife is awesome shirt

[This post was in partnership with brightpeak financial and contains affiliate links – meaning that if you sign up to any showcased products, we’ll get a commission for helping pass on the word. We only share stuff we love and get excited about, so you can rest assured there’ll never be crap promoted here. If we think it helps you and/or use the product ourselves, we blog about it!]

*This rewards program is offered and administered by brightpeak financial, which is not affiliated with TFCU. TFCU is not responsible for managing and will have no liability related to the rewards program.The Emergency Share Savings Account is not available to residents of Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada and Oklahoma.
Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Band of Savers April 5, 2017 at 7:28 am

Thanks for the headsup about his option J. In the past we have taken advantage of the rewards bonuses that many banks offer for setting up accounts with them. We once got $600 from Chase for opening accounts that we closed down 6 months later (http://www.bandofsavers.com/2015/12/we-made-600-on-friday-boom-without.html). While this one is sounds like they are promoting good behavior for their consumers I’m not sure I want to make a 2 year commitment for the $100, especially if I have to remember to make monthly deposits. In the past few years I’ve tried to simplify my banking life by keeping the number of accounts and extraneous transactions to a minimum, and it’s made life a lot easier. But I will pass this information on.

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2 J. Money April 5, 2017 at 10:03 am

Hah – nice! I’m the same with having minimal accounts, and even take it a step further by keeping them all under one main roof (USAA) :) But I know others are always asking and looking for good options, esp since not everyone has access to USAA, so I try to share any gems that come my way… Also still can’t get over how awesome it is that they name it their Emergency Savings account! Never seen that before!

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3 Jeff April 5, 2017 at 7:49 am

Just a note. Your money is not FDIC insured. For the $1200 you’re talking about it is worth the risk but there is a risk.

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4 J. Money April 5, 2017 at 10:05 am

Interesting, didn’t catch that. Yeah prob not too risky esp for only $1,200, but good to keep in mind if it is a concern for people. Thx for adding it :)

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5 Brett April 5, 2017 at 10:57 am

Jeff,

Correct, Thrivent Federal Credit Union is not FDIC insured. However, they are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. You can learn more at https://www.mycreditunion.gov/about-credit-unions/Pages/federal-vs-privately-insured-credit-unions.aspx

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6 A A Rod April 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm

You are right, it is not FDIC insured. Credit Unions are insured by the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration). Fundamentally they offer the same protections.

I’d rather people be members of their local credit union than be customers of those big banks.

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7 Jeff April 5, 2017 at 2:14 pm

This is what it says on their website: “Insurance, securities, investment advisory and trust and investment management accounts and services offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, or its affiliates are not deposits or obligations of Thrivent Federal Credit Union, are not guaranteed by Thrivent Federal Credit Union or any bank, are not insured by the NCUA, FDIC or any other federal government agency, and involve investment risk, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.”

So this account isn’t insured by FDIC or NCUA. I guess the distinction they’re making is that Thrivent Financial is separate from Thrivent Federal Credit Union which likely would be covered by NCUA as you point out.

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8 Brett April 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Hi Jeff,

Please refer to the disclosure on the Thrivent Federal Credit Union landing page (not to be confused with Thrivent Financial – the sponsor, not product owner of this savings account). It can be found along with other information at: https://www.thriventcu.com/about-us/#connect

Disclosure: Deposit and lending services are offered by Thrivent Federal Credit Union, a member-owned not-for-profit financial cooperative that is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration and doing business in accordance with the Federal Fair Lending Laws. Must qualify for membership. Insurance, securities, investment advisory and trust and investment management accounts and services offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, or its affiliates are not deposits or obligations of Thrivent Federal Credit Union, are not guaranteed by Thrivent Federal Credit Union or any bank, are not insured by the NCUA, FDIC or any other federal government agency, and involve investment risk, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.

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9 Jeff April 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I’d copied that text from the page for signup to the account thus the confusion. I did sign up and in the application confirmation email it does say “Deposit and lending services are offered by Thrivent Federal Credit Union, a member-owned not-for-profit financial cooperative that is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration and doing business in accordance with the Federal Fair Lending Laws.” So I was wrong, the deposits are insured.

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10 My Sons Father April 5, 2017 at 8:26 am

Hard to turn down $100 just for saving your own money. Great find! Thanks for sharing it.

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11 J. Money April 5, 2017 at 9:58 am

that’s what I’m sayin’ :)

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12 Mrs. Picky Pincher April 5, 2017 at 9:27 am

Huh, this is a nifty idea. I do like the idea of an account solely for emergency savings. :) I wouldn’t be comfortable with making a pledge, but it’s definitely a good option if you’re a person of faith!

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13 Jax April 5, 2017 at 10:00 am

What a great option for starting to make savings a habit! The pledging to be a Christian is an instant deal breaker for me, but maybe this type of account will persuade other financial institutions to come up with something similar.

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14 PaulM April 5, 2017 at 10:07 am

The pledge to be a Christian ended it for me. Nothing wrong with being Christian, I happen to be one myself but the exclusionary message is a slippery slope that I don’t want to take. We need more bridges than walls.

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15 J. Money April 5, 2017 at 10:23 am

That’s interesting you see it that way… My initial thought was that it was pretty cool (and ballsy!) to see a company align their mission with something they really believe in. ESPECIALLY knowing that it would limit themselves like that. And that’s regardless of whether they’re Christian or Jewish, Muslim, Vegan, Republican, whatev. I just think it’s cool to stand up for something you believe in and mix it with entrepreneurship – something you don’t see too often, at least in our space.

But yeah – def. see your point in that it comes off very exclusive too – considering you have to make a pledge before signing up :) It’s def. not an account for everyone.

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16 Miss Mazuma April 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm

J, your take is exactly what I was thinking. It is rare (and therefore jarring to some) to see a company stand up for their beliefs when it comes to the financial side. Obviously, there are ways around this caveat as you already pointed out, but to put it out there knowing it will dissuade some is interesting and to me encouraging. Though this isn’t the account for me (still rockin the 4% interest at my credit union!), I really like the message they are sending. I try not to mix politics and religion with my specific finances but we are all subject to crossover. When you invest in the market, you are investing in companies that may not align with your specific values (unless you’re buying individual stocks) but it is easy to turn our eyes to that when the whole picture doesn’t put a spotlight on the negatives. In this case, the CU is focused on their customers understanding exactly who they are, what they stand for, and how they plan to reward those who stand for the same. I see no shame in that game.

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17 PaulM April 5, 2017 at 1:17 pm

To me the shame is that they’re not following their own principles and their actions are actually in opposition to what Christian beliefs stand for. It’s not a question of what values they have but ,as a Christian myself and an American, I’m offended that their offer is not open to others of different religions (and who may in fact share the same values).

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18 Miss Mazuma April 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Yes, Paul, I totally get your point that it isn’t inclusive of all religions but, again, that is their choice. This isn’t about sharing the same values – it is about sharing the same faith. I have no intentions to debate the merit of politics/religion based on a Credit Union wanting to reward their members. I was raised Catholic and have very strong feelings towards what my religion does and does not include in regards to certain aspects of humanity. Faith does not necessarily = Fair. It is our choice to follow or not. It is the CU’s choice to whom they reward, even if that reward has a string attached to God. I’m just happy we have the freewill to decide what lines we will and will not cross. For you, this may be that line and thats just fine by me. We’re brother and sister regardless. :)

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19 Learner April 5, 2017 at 9:23 pm

I definitely agree with you, Jax and Paul. Anytime I see a qualifier like that, I sub in a different one and ask myself, “am I OK with that?” Would we be OK if the qualifier was Jewish? Muslim? Hispanic? Perhaps another trait that we didn’t choose?

I’ll admit some sensitivity here. I am considering adoption and reached out to a Christian service earlier this year. They refused to speak with me unless I signed a pledge, agreeing that I believe the tenets of their brand of Christianity and affirming that I am not in a homosexual relationship. Since I believe that people are people and everyone deserves the right to parent a child, I refused.

This business, and the bank in question, can do as they please but they will not include me.

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20 Brett April 5, 2017 at 10:52 am

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the comment. Thrivent is a not-for-profit fraternal benefit society. In order to be classified as so, members must have a common bond. For Thrivent, that common bond is Christianity. This allows members to be owners and really impact their communities, living generously. For a more in-depth view of this impact, visit https://www.thrivent.com/about-us/what-makes-us-different/

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21 Paul April 6, 2017 at 9:05 am

I wasn’t going to comment on this post because I really didn’t have much to say about a review of a bank. BUT…Your hypocrisy Interested me. In that, you seem to have no issue with the ONLY path to salvation being being through Jesus (you did say you are a christian, right), but you “draw the line” on a bank giving out rewards because people have chosen to believe in something… Honestly, they don’t even check, its not like you need a baptism certificate or a letter from your pastor with proof of church membership or anything like that. Stuff like this exists for all religions, races, etc… Its not meant to make anyone feel bad about themselves. In fact, I would argue that your overt disgust and criticism of an innocent thing like this has done more to dissuade any on the fence reader of merits of Christianity in general.

You are taking the love thy neighbor principle of Christianity and twisting it into something it’s not. Too me, It seems to me the end result of this entire thread is totally obvious, the morale of this story is that you should take a hard look in the mirror, look really deep past your eyes, lose yourself in your thoughts, then in the moment when you look into your own eyes again and you catch back up to reality, it is at this moment, at this precipice of self reflection that you should take the opportunity to get over yourself.

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22 Vana Khachatourian April 5, 2017 at 11:35 am

This is a cool tool! I have been using Barclays dream savings account, its my favorite so far. They have an max of 1,000 a month deposit into any of the three accounts you are allowed to open. I get about 1.05% percent of interest back each month, so for example my wedding fund is a little over 5,000 and every month I am getting at least $5 added to that account. On top of that, for every consecutive six months if you do a monthly deposit and do not take any money our they give you a 2.5% bonus. I like this account because I can have more than one account and still use all the benefits, plus you get really got interest and bonus offers well over $1000 saved.

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23 J. Money April 5, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Nice! Never heard of that one before :) Having “dream” in the account name is much more enticing than “emergency fund” to non-nerd people! Haha….

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24 PaulM April 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Hi J, It may just reflect my pessimistic way of looking at things sometimes. I saw it as “we have this great offer to encourage you to save money but if you’re not a pledged Christian, sorry we’re not giving it to you” It’s great that they aligning their company with your belief system, but if they truly espouse Christian ideals, I believe that everyone should have been given the same opportunity whether they share their religious beliefs or not.

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25 J. Money April 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm

I agree on the overall point for sure – I’m pro openness all around :) Check out Brett’s response up above and see if that makes more sense about it? (Brett is from Thrivent)

I feel like it’s similar to a woman’s club offering their members a benefit or a tennis club offering their members something, etc etc. It’s not that it’s exclusive to the rest, but just that it’s not aimed at others who don’t share the same interest. Like, I wouldn’t want to join a woman’s club or a tennis one, but show me a coin or currency club and i’m all there :) I know it’s not the same thing comparing hobbies to religion, but you know were I’m going with it.

regardless, just another reminder of how different we all are and how we perceive things. in a perfect world we’d both be right AND happy :)

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26 Brett April 5, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Hi Paul,

Please see my comment above regarding Thrivent being a fraternal benefit society. The not-for-profit benefits of a member organization very much outweigh the negatives. You can read more here: https://www.thrivent.com/about-us/what-makes-us-different/

Again, it’s not for everyone, agreed there, but without a common bond the benefits wouldn’t exist.

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27 gfaseed April 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm

That is excellent because an emergency account should be mandatory for everyone.
There’s always some unpredictable event, and money easily available could solve some problem very fast.

Thanks for sharing.

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28 J. Money April 5, 2017 at 3:33 pm

That would be nice! I feel like in some countries it IS mandatory actually? I remember a reader once telling me they were forced to put X% into a savings account that their gov’t held or matched or something, and it was like a REALLY high number? I’ll have to see if i can dig it up – I loved it, in theory anyways.

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29 William Cain April 6, 2017 at 1:36 pm

This is an excellent promotion and way to start saving!
The thing I like most is it pays out a 10% ROI!!! How many places are you getting 10%??? (If you find one let me know ;)
The main point here is to actually START savings and the $100 is the icing on top. Also some banks run promotions like this, however it’s very hit or miss.

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30 J. Money April 6, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Great way to look at it :)

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31 Michael April 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm

What is the % APY on the account without the $100 bonus?

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32 J. Money April 8, 2017 at 4:11 pm

It’s super low, and not worth it without the bonus:

0.10% if your account holds $25.00 – $999.99
0.50% if your account holds $1,000 – $4,999.99
(and then for some odd reason it goes back to 0.10% if you have more than $5,000?)

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33 Tali L April 8, 2017 at 1:19 pm

It might be nice to get $100 but I have to admit it makes me angry to connect all this to religion. J, I wish you wouldn’t have chosen such a service as an affiliate of your blog.

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34 J. Money April 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Sorry you feel that way. I rarely mention religion or politics on the blog – just thought it was a worthy company that a lot of people would find helpful :)

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