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$150 Checking Account Bonus at Imperial Capital Bank

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Update 2/14/08: Offer may require coming into a CA or NV branch. A reader has reported that he was told by the internet banking unit at Imperial Capital Bank that the offer is only available if you come into one of the three branches in CA or NV. See comment below.

Imperial Capital Bank is again offering a $150 checking account bonus for its Easy Money Checking. The promotional website for this bonus is located here. The promo page makes it look like you need to print the coupon and visit one of the 3 branches listed. However, I just called, and the banking rep said you can apply online and still qualify for the bonus. She said that you need to select the Personal iChecking in the application and meet the requirements as specified in the promo page.

The CSR that I spoke with did not know when this was scheduled to expire. Below are the promotion requirements:
  • $250 minimum balance to open checking account and earn bonus
  • $75 is earned for establishing direct deposit
  • $25 is earned for activating online banking within 30 days of opening your account
  • $50 is earned for making 5 online bill payments within 60 days of openining your account

Some other details to remember:
  • Accounts closed within the first 180 days are subject to an early closure fee of $75
  • All Bonuses will be deposited into your new checking account
  • Account opening for NEW non-interest checking accounts only
  • Bonus is limited to one new checking account per household
  • Customer is responsible for all applicable State and Federal taxes

Full details of this promotion is in the small print on this Imperial Capital's page. Some details about the checking account include:
  • No minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees
  • First order of checks is free
  • No hard credit pull according to CSR
  • ATM fees waived all over the world
  • Free online bill pay

I first reported on this promotion in this September 2007 post. Credit for finding out that it's available again goes to iBankDesign member ichaelm who mentioned it on this thread. He reported being told that it's scheduled to expire on 3/31/08. There also have been many reports of this previous promotion on this FW thread. Several FW members have reported success in receiving this bonus from last year.

Imperial Capital Bank has been FDIC insured since 1985 (Certificate # 26348). Note, the online application URL in this promotional website is the same as the application URL on Imperial's main website.

  Tags: California, checking account

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Comments
11 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Any idea about ACH with the online account??

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Comment #2 by ProfessorB (anonymous) posted on
ProfessorB
There's a typo in:

ATM fees waived all "of" the world

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Comment #3 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Anonymous, I forgot to ask about ACH capability or if ACH deposits would count as DD. I'm not sure if the CSR would know about what may count as DD.

Professorb, thanks for catching the typo. I just updated the post.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You may want to reconsider this posting. The offer is only available IF you come into the branch. Unless you live near the branches (3 in CA and NV), you cannot get the offer.

When I called Milwaukee call center at the phone number listed on the coupon, they indicated that the "Easy Money" checking account can be opened over the phone or for those who apply using the on-line application (800.455.4485). HOWEVER, the internet banking unit at Imperial Capital Bank (Lisa and her supv.) indicate that the $150 offer is NOT available to OL customers (866.413.5626). I was not able to have them honor their offer for out of state customers even though they have a "misleading ad". The offer is VERY unclear and can mislead you if you call the Milwaukee call center for information. Lost 2 hours of time to determine if they will allow a bonus account.
Jeff - Cleveland

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Comment #5 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. I've updated the post with this info. I noticed the FW thread on this promo from last year that there was similar uncertainity about the online qualification. You would think Imperial would be able to get their reps in sync on this issue by now.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I called the 800 number on the ad page and he said as long as the account is non-interest bearing, it is qualified for the bonus. The account CAN be opened online.

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Comment #7 by glxpass (anonymous) posted on
glxpass
I've saved the web page with the promotional details to a PDF file. Although the bank might not be legally responsible for the accuracy of what they say, here's the critical and IMO deceptive information from that page:

"Redeem your $150 in Bonus Money by printing the coupon and opening up your account with us.

To open your Easy Money Checking account, visit one of our branch locations or call us at 800.455.4485"

This clearly states that you can either open the account at a branch or by phone. Except that a supervisor at the phone number claims that they are unable to open *any* accounts by phone.

If this bank has a sense of decency, it should allow the bonus to be given to people who open the account on-line and who have seen this web page with these terms stated.

I'm going to send them an e-mail that basically states this.

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Comment #8 by glxpass (anonymous) posted on
glxpass
As a follow-up, I'd recommend that anyone interested in this deal print the web page before the bank corrects the information, so that you'll have proof that of the bonus offer as originally stated.

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Comment #9 by glxpass (anonymous) posted on
glxpass
The link to the coupon no longer works, but I just called the 800.455.4485 number and they say the offer is still valid if you appear at the branches offering this promotion. I'd still call the branch before making the trip in order to verify that the promotion is still valid.

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Comment #10 by glxpass (anonymous) posted on
glxpass
The VP, Director of Banking Operations actually replied to my e-mail. It turns out the the Bonus Money Checking promotion that was both available on-line and in three Imperial Capital Bank branches has ended.

There's a new promotion, called Easy Money Checking, that's available in any branch, but not on-line. The terms of the promotion are very close to, but not identical with the Bonus Money Checking promotion.

Here's the basic information, excerpted from the PDF file that the VP attached to her message:

Ask how you can earn $150 BONUS CASH
when you open an Easy Money Checking account with Direct Deposit and Online Banking. *

EASY MONEY CHECKING has arrived.

Free Online Banking and Bill Pay

Free Checks (First order of bank checks up to $20)

ATM fees waived all over the world**

** International Conversion fees are not waived.


* The minimum balance to open an Easy Money Checking Account is $100. However, to be eligible to earn the $150 cash bonus, the minimum opening balance is $250. Easy Money Checking Account must be opened with funds not currently on deposit and is limited to one new consumer Easy Money Checking Account per household.

Customer is eligible to earn $75 if direct deposit is established for the Easy Money Checking Account within 30 days of opening. Upon verification of the first direct deposit, $75 will be credited to the account within the next statement cycle. Direct deposit eligibility is based on customer's relationship with a third party involving recurring monthly payments, such as payroll, Social Security, VA Benefits, SSI payments, or other similar monthly credits. PAY PAL CREDITS DO NOT QUALIFY.

Customer is eligible to earn $25 if within the first 30 days of account opening Online Banking is established for the Easy Money Checking Account. Within 60 days of account opening, customer will be eligible to earn an additional $50 if five (5) bill payments through Imperial Capital Bank Bill Pay are made from the Easy Money Checking Account. Upon verification of qualified bill payments, the $50 will be credited to the account within the next statement cycle. Bill payments must be a minimum of $25 each to qualify. PAY PAL DEBITS DO NOT QUALIFY.

If, for any reason the Easy Money Checking Account is closed within the first 180 days of account opening the account will be subject to an early closure fee of $75. All accounts are subject to applicable terms and conditions.

Bonus offer may be modified or withdrawn at any time and will expire on 4/30/08.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I had applied (online) before the update about this being possibly "in-branch" only. I did call them after I mailed the initial deposit check and the a/c was opened. They did indicate that the promotion was meant to be in-branch only but that they would honor it for me (and several others who did it online). However, they no longer have this promotion for online applicants. This agrees with what "glxpass" posted earlier. So for those who already applied online, give them a call and see if they will honor it. My conversations with them were very courteous and nice.

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