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KeyBank Checking Account Promotion


Update 7/08/09: There's still an active checking account promotion for a Key Student Checking Account. In addition to a free 1GB flash drive, you can also get an iPod nano whey you apply and get approved for the student credit card. See Key Bank's promo page for details.

KeyBank has a new checking account promotion in which you can receive a free Garmin nuvi 205W GPS or a Garmin nuvi 265WT GPS. The 205W GPS requires that you open a qualifying checking account by 4/24/09 and make one debit card transaction and make two direct deposits or automated payments each of $100 or more by 6/26/09. The Express Free Checking qualifies.

The more expensive 265WT GPS requires opening either the Key Privilege, Key Privilege Select, or other business checking accounts. The other requirements seem to be the same. These two personal accounts require large minimum balances to avoid monthly fees.

You will receive your Garmin GPS within 90 days of meeting requirements. Here's some of the important small print. Please refer to the promotion page and the FAQ page for the official details.
  • Direct deposit transactions are limited to: payroll, social security, pension and government benefits.
  • Automated payments exclude Key Bill Pay, debit card automated payments, PayPal transactions and account to account balance transfers.
  • Offer not available to individuals who have opened a KeyBank checking account in the last 12 months.
  • The value of the Garmin GPS will be reported on Form 1099-INT ($166 for the 205W and $240 for the 265WT)
  • If you close your account within 180 days of account opening, you will be charged a $25 account early closure fee.
  • You can apply at a KeyBank branch, or through 1-877-888-3658
  • Only available in areas where KeyBank has branches. Key has branches in the following states: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.
Some features of the Key Express Free Checking include:
  • $50 Minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • ACH transfer capability
Some fees to be aware of include:
  • $2 fee for using non-KeyBank ATMs
  • $25 early closing fee if closed before 180 days
According to the customer service rep, they don't do a hard credit inquiry. They only use ChexSystem in the application approval process. This is based on my conversation with the CSR in 2007.

As with any non-cash gift, you can probably get the gift cheaper than the value that's going to be reported on the 1099-INT. The best price that I've found for the 205W model is $120 at

This promotion is very similar to KeyBank's iPod nano promotion that I posted on last year. Three readers reported receiving the iPod as promised.

KeyBank has been FDIC insured since 1956.

  Tags: KeyBank, New York, Indiana, Washington, Vermont, Utah, Alaska, Maine, checking account, Oregon, Michigan, Idaho, Kentucky, Colorado, Ohio

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Comment #1 by Matt (anonymous) posted on
Thanks for the info. I gave it a shot. Will let you know how it goes.

Comment #2 by Heather S (anonymous) posted on
Heather S
I opened a CD with KeyBank last summer while they were having thir iPod touch account promotion. Opening a checking account gave a better interest rate on the CD, was fee-free with the CD balance I had and the hoops to get the ipod touch were similar to this offer. Shortly after completing the requirements I received my 2nd gen ipod touch in the mail.

They sent me a 1099 claiming an Interest-equivalent value of $300. A few weeks later, without any action on my part, they sent a corrected 1099 showing a value of $230 instead.

So, overall a positive experience: I was pleased that the device delivered was the newest model and pleased that they corrected the value before I got around to complaining.

Comment #4 by Sarah M (anonymous) posted on
Sarah M

Please do not trust Key- they do NOT deliver what they promise!

Comment #5 by Sarah M (anonymous) posted on
Sarah M
Please do not trust Key- they do NOT deliver what they promise!