Long gone are the days when banks would give you a free toaster for opening a checking account. Maybe that was an awesome perk back in the 1950’s or 60’s, but it sure isn’t one now. These days, it takes a lot more to get consumers like you to give banks your business. Fortunately, banks have realized this and are offering some really cool checking account promotions to entice you to open an account with them.
Be aware, though, there is almost always a catch. You usually have to make some sort of minimum deposit or have a set number of automatic deposits made to your account before you qualify for the checking account bonus. Usually, the requirements aren’t anything out of the normal that you wouldn’t do with a typical checking account, but if you’re just looking to open an account, get your free gift and close it again, you’re going to left holding an empty goody bag.
Cash is King:
Over the years, banks have tried everything from kitchen appliances to sporting event tickets to gift cards to grow their customer bases and of course, make more money. However, historically, the number one checking account incentive that has trumped all others is good-old hard cash.
Banks have realized that giving new customers a small cash reward for opening a bank account is nothing compared to what they can earn in interest off the money those customers keep in their accounts. This is why just about every bank in the country is getting in on the act. It’s a relatively easy way to get customers and keep them.
Right now, you can get as little as $25 for opening a checking account to as much as $1,050. Most banks offer around $100 cash as a checking account incentive, but it is important for you to check out the terms of the deal before you put your name on the signature cards.
For example, to get the $1,050 checking account bonus from Capital One, you have to sign up for a no-minimum checking account and make three purchases on your Capital One 360 MasterCard debit card within 45 days of opening the account. $50 will be deposited into your account on the 50th day. Even if you make your three purchases within hours of opening your checking account, you will still have to wait until day 50 to get your free money.
Wait – Checking Account Promotions Don’t Come That Easy!
That’s the easy part of the checking account promotion. To qualify for the additional $1,000 bonus, you have to refer 50 people to Capital One and get them to sign up for an account. Yeah. That’s a $20 bonus for every new person you get to open a checking account.
Now it’s not as easy as it sounded before. However, the opportunity is there and if you have a lot of friends who need checking accounts, you might be able to convince them to open an account with Capital One to help you out. After all, when you signed up, Capital One probably send someone else a check on your behalf.
On the other end of the spectrum, Central Bank of the Lake of the Ozarks will give you a $25 bonus just for opening a checking account with them. Enter their special coupon code on their website and no other actions are required on your part. Sign up and get cash. Of course, it’s not much, but it’s $25 more than you had before you started. Not a bad return on investment for a few minutes of your time.
Beyond Cash – Gifts Galore!
If cash isn’t your thing, you can still find cool checking account promotions that offer bonuses that send you home with a gift instead of dollars. Over the years banks have offered gifts that are in keeping with popular items of the day. At one time, the go-to gift was an iPod. At another, it was a flip recording camera. Now, the item of choice appears to be a tablet. Several banks are offering a free tablet just for opening an account and following their deposit rules.
KeyBank, for instance is currently offering a Free $159 Kindle Fire HD for customers that sign up for a checking account. Sounds simple, right? Well, on the surface, it is. However, there are other requirements as well that have to be met before you get your hands on your new tablet.
- The checking account requires a minimum balance of $500 to remain “free”. Otherwise, you have to pay a monthly Maintenance Service Charge.
- You have to make a direct deposit of at least $500 within the first two months after opening your account to qualify for the free gift.
- If you are already a KeyBank member and you’ve opened a checking account in the last year, you’re out of luck. No Kindle Fire for you.
- If you close the account within six months, you will be charged $25 for early closure.
The bottom line is that you probably shouldn’t open checking accounts just to get the free cash or gifts unless you’re planning to open an account anyway. They’re nice bonuses but you are going to have to jump through hoops to get your checking account promotions. Also, you never know when a better promotion might come along and you’ll miss out on something really awesome.
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