Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

$150 / $75 Checking Account Promotions at Sovereign Bank


Santander Bank, N.A
Sovereign Bank has two checking account promotions. The first offers $150 when you open a Premier Checking account with a free Visa CheckCard. The main issue with this one is that it requires a minimum combined balance of $15,000 on the 60th day after you open your account to receive the bonus. The highest yield on the checking is only 0.45% for balances over $5K. The Premier Money Market Savings has a yield of 2.75% APY on balances over $10K for new accounts. I was told that you could open both accounts and use the money market balance to satisfy the $15K minimum. The Premier Checking also a $25 monthly fee if your combined balance falls below $15,000. If you could use this money market to hold most of the $15,000, it would help to mitigate the loss of interest that could have been earned in a higher interest account.

The second promotion offers $75 for opening a new Free Interest Checking Account and making a direct deposit into the account within 60 days of account opening. This free checking has no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements, but it does require direct deposit of any recurring payment you receive (not just paycheck).

Both of the promotions require a $100 minimum deposit, and the accounts must be opened by May 30, 2008. I was told that there's no account closure fee if an account is closed after 90 days. Otherwise, it's $25. The CSR also said they don't perform a hard credit inquiry. They just use ChexSystem in the application.

Sovereign Bank also has a credit card promotion in which you can earn $50 for applying online for a credit card and making a qualifying purchase of at least $75 within 90 days.

Branch Visit is Required

I was told a branch visit is required for the checking account promotions. You can apply for these accounts online, but you would not receive the bonus. A reader in my last Sovereign Bank post mentioned that the banking reps were very unhelpful when he mentioned that he was outside their footprint.

Branches are located in the Northeast in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 29950).

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this promotion in the finding-the-best-deals post.

  Tags: New York, Santander Bank, N.A, Rhode Island, checking account, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Sovereign, HSBC and Countrywide are the best local banks right now for the customer with highest local rates and best fee structures in the business especially in NYC. SmartyPig is 4.30% but involves gift cards and setting a preset goal.

These banks offer the best checking account fee structures and packages for the consumer including the bonus amounts.

Sovereign Premier Checking with Premier Money Market and taking into account the bonus. Rate used to be 3% and dropped however, when it was 3% it was like a 4% APY local bank account with full perks with 15k kept in the bank. Note has no insufficient fund fees and next day funding and other perks. However Soveriegn Bancorp has problems with safety of the safe deposit boxes since at another branch they actually drilled a hole 2 buildings down and were able to receive funds. There was a whole story about this. So the 50% off safe deposit box offer is NOT something of use. Other banks have superior safety deposit boxes and vault security.

HSBC Online Payment Account. Might as well add Online Savings to the account since its no min for savings account ATM funds while linking to Countrywide Bank.

Then you have Smartypig for Goal oriented high rate with giftcards.

These are pretty much the best deals for NYC Consumers who have HSBC, Countrywide and Sovereign Bank available and do not have access to high rate closed membership credit unions in town.

Was tempted on the Sovereign Bancorp deal.

Comment #2 by larkin (anonymous) posted on
Might want to also check out Hudson City Savings. They have a Money Market Checking Account--currently at 3.75% for $25k minimum balance.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
3.75% for $25k min is lower than Countrywide which has 4.05% for 10k min with Savingslink.

Sovereign is good since it was a full service bank with full frills which offered an equivalent of 4% with bonus at the time which has pushed back to 3.75%.

If Hudson City is a full service with no insufficient fund structures with full perks it could be a good alternative. I have not check fee structures however and branch structure does not have branches in the areas that Sovereign serves.

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
RE:"Branch Visit is Required

I was told a branch visit is required for the checking account promotions. "

rep in email reply did not give me the imprssion a branch visit is required... anyone know for sure?

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Branch visit is not a requirement to qualify this promotion ($75 for checking)

I asked about the branch visit requirement the rep who called me to verify my info, and he said no.