American Chartered Bank is having a promotion in which you can get $50 cash for opening a new checking account. There is no direct deposit requirement. They have a free checking account with no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. They'll also pay up to $25 toward the purchase of your new checks when you bring in your check card and unused checks from your current account. The offer expires on 6/15/07.
For those looking for a high yield checking account, their Wall Street Plus Checking has a yield of 4.45% APY on balances over $10K and 5% APY on balances over $50K. This does have a $10 monthly fees if your balance falls below $5K.
[Update 5/25/07: The bank changed the small print on the promotion page. It now states: "Offer not valid on accounts opened through our Online Application." It's not clear if this applies to the $50 sign-up bonus or the referral bonuses.]
According to the banking rep, the checking accounts are available to people out of state and can be opened through their online application. The $50 bonus would also apply. Your initial deposit can be made either by check or via ACH. I also asked about a hard credit pull, and he said that they do a credit inquiry on applicants. I'm not sure if he knew if it were a hard or soft pull.
Branches are located in Chicago and several other Illinois cities. The bank is FDIC insured (FDIC Charter # 27006).