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$123 Checking Account Bonus at Provident Bank


Provident Bank has a $123 checking account promotion. The new checking account must be opened by 3/31/09, and the customer must have direct deposit and an active Provident MasterMoney debit card by 4/30/09. Here are some important details from the small print:
  • Limit one per household
  • Minimum opening deposit of $25
  • Cash award will be deposited into checking accounts on or about 5/31/09
  • Customers will be responsible for applicable taxes
The Totally Free Checking qualifies for this promotion. It has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees. Readers have reported that they did not receive hard credit pulls when applying for Provident checking accounts in the past.

From the promotion page it appears to be open to people in any state. When I posted on a similar Provident Bank checking bonus in September 2008, the promotion was limited to the bank's market area (DC, MD, PA, VA and WV). Update 2/4/09: A reader reported being told of a similar geographic restriction as before.

This is the same bank that operates Providentdirect with a high yield online savings account, APY currently at 2.82% (see post).

Another thing to note regarding Provident Bank is that it's in the process of being acquired by M&T Bank. The acquisition is expected to close late in the second quarter of 2009 (see press release).

Provident Bank has been FDIC insured since 1943 (Certificate # 15951).

Thanks to the reader who commented on this promotion in the Daily News & Deals post.

  Tags: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Sterling National Bank (NY), Maryland, West Virginia, checking account

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Not to be confused with "THE" Provident Bank (


Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
I just called provident. and was told this promotion is only for DC and VA.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Per 2/4/09 email from Provident: "In order to qualify for the $123 promotion, this must be a Preauthorized Deposit from an employer and not a recurring ACH. Also, I show that you are outside of the Maryland/DC/Virginia area which also a qualification for this promotion."

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Only for VA and DC? The bank is based in Maryland and why would you exclude people who reside in your own market?

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Apparently a direct deposit from a paycheck is different than an ACH transfer from a bank. I guess they want the money to come from an employee payroll account instead of another bank account.

Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Checking account Annual Percentage Yields as of January 21, 2009: Interest: .10%; Platinum .25%.

This is the rate that you will get for the $123 bonus signup. So consider the bonus signup as your actual interest because 0.1$ just doesn't cut it even for a 1 million dollar balance (you get a measly $1000 annual interest).

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
iOffer is NOT available to everyone.
As of 2/4/09:
“Offer only available to residents of DC, MD, PA, VA or WV who are 18 years of age as of February 2, 2009.”

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
I guess I can deposit $1000 and open an account so that I can supposedly get around 10% APY for the year if I keep the account open that long. But $123 with an interest rate well below 1% doesn't cut it. $123 doesn't pay even one month's utility costs.

Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
According to their website:

Make fifteen (15) or more “credit” purchases with your Provident MasterMoney™ debit card totaling $1,500 between 2/2/09 and 3/31/09 and be automatically entered to win one (1) of five (5) $123 MasterCard® gift cards. Plus, if you enroll in Provident Power Points, you’ll receive 500 bonus Power Points rewards.*

Also this bank has just been bought by M&T Bank.

Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Scam alert: It looks like M&T Bank might try to nickel/dime you on this Provident bonus, even if you have satisfied all of the terms of the $123 bonus. I have direct deposit there but had not received anything and called M&T today to see what the deal was. The CSR tried to tell me that even though I have the e-mail receipt proving the account was opened on Tuesday, 3/31, because it was not considered "active" until April 2nd, I'm not eligible.

I'm going to appeal this all the way of course and just now stopped into a branch for round 2. The manager there was helpless, but promised she'd "look into it" and give me a call. I'll keep everyone posted.