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$50 Cash Bonus for Compass Bank Checking Account in Texas and Alabama

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Compass Bank is offering a $50 cash bonus for its Build-to-Order Free Checking Account. It's only for residents of Texas and Alabama. It requires opening the checking account with a minimum $25 deposit before March 16, 2008. Instructions and terms for this promotion are listed at this Compass page. Before opening the checking account, you must first register for the $50 cash gift. This can be done under this Compass page.

Note, not all listed cities in Texas and Alabama link to the $50 promo page. I'm not sure if that means it's only available in certain cities. Some of the cities with the $50 registration page includes Birmingham, AL and Dallas, TX.

This is similar to a promotion Compass did last year when it was giving away a $50 iTunes Gift Card.

I did a different Compass $50 promotion in 2006 and received the promised gift card without any problems. One negative is that I did received two hard credit inquiries by Transunion. In December I switched over the checking account to this Build-to-Order Checking. It was quick, and it did not trigger another hard pull.

Easy $25 Per Year?

The Build-to-Order Free Checking comes with some basic features. Two additional premium features are allowed without cost. The notable basic feature is no minimum balance or direct deposit requirement. The notable premium feature for those who want to make extra money is a $25 anniversary cash bonus. One feature that is lacking is free checks. I'm not sure if the first order of checks is free or not. If they're not free, I would think you should be able to reject them. The Online Bill Pay is free so you could live without them.

The disclosure has some of the details of $25 anniversary cash bonus feature. I've been told that all you have to do to receive this bonus is to keep the checking account active. So I've just set up small automatic monthly debits from an online bank account.

The disclosure states that there's a limit of 2 bonus features per customer. So I thought this may imply that you could choose two cash bonuses for your two free premium choices. I've been told that this is not allowed. You will not be able to double up on the $25 cash bonus feature to earn $50 instead of $25.

The other premium features are not too exciting in my opinion. The first two would allow you to use ATMs without cost, but note, to receive rebates when you use ATMs from other banks, you'll have to mail in the receipts.

One of the premium features is interest on your checking balance. I doubt that this would be a worthwhile feature. If the rate is the same as their CompassLink Checking (currently 0.40% for $2K or more), it would be of little value. If you're going to keep a large balance in a checking account, there are many other choices that will earn you much higher interest.

Two other premium features are rewards for check card usage. A good cash back credit card will likely be better than this, and if you're going to use a debit card often, you'll probably be better off with a high yield reward checking account (see post).

The last premium feature is a one-per-year overdraft forgiveness refund. If you want to save money, avoid overdrafts like the plague.

Compass Bank is FDIC insured (FDIC Certificate # 19048).
  Tags: Alabama, Texas, checking account

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