Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion
Featured Savings Rates

Popular Posts

Featured Accounts

$200 Checking Account Bonus with Direct Deposit at Metropolitan National Bank

POSTED ON BY

Metropolitan National Bank is offering a $200 bonus for opening its free checking account and activating direct deposit. I first reported on this promotion in September 2007. One thing that has changed is that they now have an online application that can be used to open the checking account. According to the application's FAQ, any valid US address is acceptable. I also called, and the banking rep said people outside of New York are eligible for this promotion, and you don't have to come into the branch. It appears that you'll need to mail in a copy of your driver's license and a copy of a current utility bill or other evidence of your name and address.

Some of the important small print of this offer includes:
Free checking with the $200 bonus requires activating full direct deposit ($500 minumum) of recurring payroll, government benefits or retirement account disbursements. $200 bonus will be credited to the account after first full qualifying direct deposit posts. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS form 1099-INT. Account must remain open and full qualifying direct deposit active for 6 months from the date of account opening or the $200 bonus will be debited upon account closure.

One notable perk of the free checking is the rebates of foreign ATM fees. Like the typical free checking there are no monthly service fees, no minimum balance requirements and online bill pay is free.

Update 8/22/08: The promo is still active. Readers have reported that the bank does a hard credit pull and ChexSystem in the application. Also, it has been reported that the bank has asked customers to fax their paystubs to verify the direct deposits were from their full pay.

Update 2/19/08: A banking rep replied to my email with a "Yes" on my question if the Personal Checking that's listed in the online application is the free checking that's required for the promotion.

Branches are located New York city. The bank is FDIC insured (FDIC Certificate # 34699).

Thanks to the reader who mentiond this online application in the comments.

  Tags: New York, checking account

Related Posts

Comments
30 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
so does it sound like you could have the direct deposit drop in, then immediately ach it out each month without breaking the terms of the bonus?

1
Comment #2 by trinidon2k (anonymous) posted on
trinidon2k
Does ACH transfer from other banks count as DD?

1
Comment #3 by trinidon2k (anonymous) posted on
trinidon2k
Do they do a hard pull?

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just finished talking to a CSR,
responses are:

They do HARD credit pulls + ChexSystem.

ACH does not counts as direct deposit, must come from payroll, SS or other retirement sources.

You can withdraw the funds after 1-3 day(s) clearing.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
if you put in the minimum DD for six months, this is about a 13.3% rate of return (yearly). Not bad.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Not so fast anonymous from 10:19.
Thing the other way around.
You will lose minimum of one week of interest per month by sending and then pulling the money out to another bank that pays 6% interest.

That is minus 4% of your theoretical 13.3%.

Then, you have to pay some bills and charge some purchases and have some money left over to show good faith as customer without earning any interest on the balance.

That will be another 4% of your theoretical 13.3%.

Now include your time and taxes and efforts and HARD credit pulls and I feel it is not such a good deal.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
LOL, are you just making up those numbers? just random 4%s?

A) It doesn't take a week to move money around.

B) There is no good faith needed, no bill pay needed, no transactions needed. Just put the money in and pull it out, you lose 4 days a month.

C) Include my time? Flawed argument.

D) All accounts charge taxes on interest, why would you consider that in comparing accounts?

E) Hard *PULL* - singular. If your credit can't take a temp hit like that, you shouldn't be looking at more accounts period.

F) What effort? Seems pretty straightforward.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
LOL, are you just making up those numbers? just random 4%s?
THE 4% COMES FROM LOST OF ONE WEEK OF INTEREST PER MONTH X 52 = 4% OF YOUR THEORETICAL 13.3% / YEAR.

A) It doesn't take a week to move money around.
MONEY SENT FROM PAYROLL TO THE BANK 1-3 DAYS LOST OF INTEREST, MONEY NOT SHOWING AS AVAILABLE TO WITHDRAW 1-3 DAYS LOST OF INTEREST, MONEY ARRIVES ON FRIDAY 1-3 DAYS NOT AVAILABLE, MONEY PULLED FROM OUTSIDE 1-3 DAYS NOT AVAILABLE, MONEY ARRIVES JUST BEFORE HOLIDAYS 1-3 DAYS LOST, MONEY PULLED JUST BEFORE HOLIDAY ARE NOT PULLED UNTIL NEXT WORKING DAY 1-3 DAYS LOST. I'VE BEEN THERE, TRIED WITH OTHER BANKS THE SAME THINKING LIKE YOURS AND MY POINT OF VIEW IS CORRECT.

B) There is no good faith needed, no bill pay needed, no transactions needed. Just put the money in and pull it out, you lose 4 days a month.
YES, THERE IS GOOD FAITH, YOU AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BEFORE OPENING THE ACCOUNT. READ IT AGAIN AND YOU WILL SEE IT.

C) Include my time? Flawed argument.
IT IS NOT FLAWED ARGUMENT, YOU HAVE TO LOG ON AT BANK ONE, CHECK AVAILABLE BALANCE, LOG AT BANK TWO,
SET PULL FROM BANK ONE, TIME THE PULLS TO BE ON A WORKING DAY AND HOPE YOU DID NOT MAKE A MISTAKE IN THE AMOUNT PULLED AND SO ON.

D) All accounts charge taxes on interest, why would you consider that in comparing accounts?
YOU ARE REPORTING $200 AS RECEIVED INCOME, BUT IN REALITY YOU RECEIVED LESS FOR YOUR MONEY AND TIME SPENT.

E) Hard *PULL* - singular. If your credit can't take a temp hit like that, you shouldn't be looking at more accounts period.
IF YOU SHOW BAD FAITH, YOU WILL BE HIT WITH ANOTHER HARD PULL IF YOU
DON'T FOLLOW AGREEMENTS AND YOU MAY BE REPORTED TO A CREDIT BUREAU AS AN ABUSER OF BANKING REGULATIONS.

F) What effort? Seems pretty straightforward.
SEE THE COMMENTS ABOVE.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I agree with the answers posted to comment at 11:46. It takes on average
of a week to do pull and push for
the same money.
I was reported to Chex System as abuser of bank rules for pushing and
pulling the same amounts in and out of the same account.
For the next 3-5 years, I can not open Bank account.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
All Banks that pay big bonuses,
expect the Customer to be a real Customer and make some transactions
and not just take the money and run.

There will be an evaluation at the end of six months. A new Hard pull is
possible.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
lol, you guys must either be new you bankdeals or actually going for these accounts. The name of game is "follow the rules to the letter" - it's a bank, not a mom and pop store - if they don't explicitly require bill payments (or any of the requirements you seemed to have pulled out of the thin air), they won't care if you don't do them.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The considering your time involved is seriously flawed logic because ALL of these "deals" for checking accounts require time - either debit transactions per month, or something like pulling/pushing money, etc. How can you single one deal out by saying that it requires too much time?

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
UH not to mention that the 13+% interest is if you left the money in there the whole time - if you pull it out, it's earning ACTUAL interest in another account. the 13% is just 200/3000 X 2. So the money itself still earns money if you transfer it to another account. LOL.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I started the online application and saw that the Personal Checking Account required $300 minimum funding. What's that all about?

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
same anon as the last post - you'd make $67 if you transferred this out to a 6% interest account (counting the one week per month that's lost). So you'd get the 13% ($200 cash bonus) and 6% ($67 in interest from interest with the money in another account).

Just wanted to the put the numbers in to show how its even more valuable than the face-value 13%

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
http://www.metropolitanbankny.com/pBanking.asp

looks like the free checking has no minimum, but lots of banks require $X for deposit when a bonus is involved. just pull it out afterwards...

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The bank offers $200 bonus on its "FREE checking account". But when you proceed to apply online, "Free checking" is not available, only regular checking with the $300 minimum ballance is available. Do I miss anything, or the bank is trying to fool us?

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
YOUR WILL NOT GET $200 if you do not sign up for the correct account - "FREE checking". The "Free checking" is not available online.

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It is a classical bait and switch rip off.

1
Comment #20 by username_unknown (anonymous) posted on
username_unknown
so you can't open this account online?

1
Comment #21 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I just emailed a question about this to Metropolitan. Perhaps we'll be able to get to the bottom of this on Monday. That sure would be deceptive if that checking account in the application isn't the one that qualifies.

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've noticed that direct deposits are not subject to the same 3 day holds as ACH transactions. Available and total balance are the same after transaction. Thus one is not subject to the 3 day hold. Still a 3 day process to transfer though from most of these banks.

1
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You can see from the application FAQ
https://secure.andera.com/index.cfm?Action=openAccount.faq#Isaminimumdepositrequiredtoopenanaccount

There is a required initial deposit of $300 for personal checking and $2500 for interest bearing. They only have 2 checking accounts, one is free personal and one is interest bearing NOW checking. At the end of my application, the funding option is $300 minimum so I am sure it was the correct application for free checking.

1
Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
So to confirm, ACH from another bank would NOT satisfy the DD requirements? Has anyone gotten the $200 for the first successful deposit just doing regular ACH transfers?

1
Comment #25 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Here's the fine print (copy/pasted from their website): Free checking account and $200 bonus offers subject to change without notice, limited to one account per customer. Free checking with the $200 bonus requires activating full direct deposit ($500 minumum)of recurring payroll, government benefits or retirement account disbursements. $200 bonus will be credited to the account after first full qualifying direct deposit posts. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS form 1099-INT. Account must remain open and full qualifying direct deposit active for 6 months from the date of account opening or the $200 bonus will be debited upon account closure. Metropolitan National Bank ATM and debit cardholders pay no Metropolitan National Bank fees to use any ATM worldwide, and any "foreign" ATM fees charged by owners of ATMs other than Metropolitan National Bank are rebated.

The disclosures seem to define the requirements well. My question is: For the $500 direct deposit requirements, could I split that into $250 deposited twice monthly, instead of one $500 monthly lump? I.E.: My employer pays bi-weekly, and our ACH can't alternate between each paycheck - it remains the same for each paycheck, so I'd prefer to satisfy that requirement by specifying $250 per bi-weekly pay period.

1
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Some people in FWF report that this bank requires a direct deposit of your full paystub to qualify for the bonus.

1
Comment #27 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The bank sent me a letter asking for DL, utility bill and signature forms, but I don't recall ever getting a signature form, just a notice that my account was going to be reviewed for opening. The initial deposit was debited so I am sure the account was approved.

1
Comment #28 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Instead of pushing the money in and pulling out from the same source, using the same amount, consider pushing the money in, and then making bill-pays of various amounts to your credit cards.

1
Comment #29 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
When you click to learn more about the $200 bonus, a new page pups up with this:

"Free Personal Checking

Checking

Your relationship with Metropolitan National Bank can begin with a simple checking account.

* No minimum balance requirement
* Fast and easy online application process
* No monthly fee
* No direct deposit requirement
* Free VISA* check card
* Free online banking with free bill pay

Apply Now

AND with our VISA* check card, all ATM transactions are free, whether you are using a Metropolitan National Bank ATM or any"

It is misleading about the direct deposit requirements.

I called to clarify it and was told to ignore the learn more page about the direct deposit not being required. Which means it is a must in order to receive the bonus.

I think this is done on purpose to confuse some customers and lured them into opening the account without ever receiving the bonus.

1
Comment #30 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ok, so you put $500 in each month for 6 months = $3000. If you put that same $3000 dollars into a 6 month CD, and received $200 at the end of the term, what would you say your RoR is? 13.33%!!!. The argument of subtracting 4% for opportunity cost is nonsense. If you were to invest your $3000 in a CD at 5.00%, would you subtract 4.00% because you could get that rate in another cd if your money wasn't tied up in the first? NO! Rate of return doesn't take into account what you could be getting somewhere else. So you should be comparing, not subtracting. Pretend the bank account is a CD offering a 13.33% APY, or you could put your money into a CD paying 3.5% APY for six months. Which would you choose? And plus, the 13.33% assumes that you put the $3000 all at once, when really you are doing it incrementally over 6 months, so the rate is even better than that. AND you can transfer the money out of the checking account into a money market account, so really you should ADD 3.5% onto the 13.33% instead of subtracting, because were your money in a CD, it is stuck there. I can see what the 4% guy was thinking, the only problem is, he was completely wrong lol.

1