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$100 Checking Account Bonus and an Online Savings Account at Bank of the West

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Bank of the West
Update 11/02/09: The promotion has been extended to last until 12/11/2009.

Bank of the West has brought back its $100 checking account bonus. In addition, they have made the promotion more flexible. You can earn $100 by either direct deposit of at least $250 or 10 online bill payments. The promotion details are listed in the bank's promo page at www.bankofthewest.com/neighbor. Checking account must be opened by 10/02/09. Some important details mentioned in the small print include:
  • First recurring direct deposit must be posted to your account within 60 calendar days of your account opening date
  • The 10 bill payments must occur within 60 calendar days of your account opening date
  • Bonus will be credited to your account within 60 days after satisfaction of conditions
  • Offer valid for a new personal checking account opened from with $100 or more from a financial institution other than Bank of the West
  • Offer does not apply to second or multiple checking accounts and/or existing checking customers
  • Limit of one $100 bonus per household per calendar year
  • Value of the offer reported to the IRS on Form 1099
Bank of the West had been offering this same promotion in May and June. At the start of the promo, only direct deposit was an option. Later they added the bill pay option.

I just called the bank's customer service number (800 488-2265 / option 8), and according to the CSR, a branch visit is required to qualify for this promo. I told her that was confusing since the promo page had "apply now" buttons. If you receive different info from a CSR, please leave a comment.

Branches are located throughout the Western and Midwestern states including Oklahoma, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and California. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 3514).

Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this new promotion.

Online Savings Account

Bank of the West also offers an online savings account, and according to the CSR, it's available nationwide. The rate as of 8/14/09 is a little low: 0.50% APY for under $10K and 1.50% APY for over $10K. According to the CSR, there's a $2/month fee if the balance falls below $300. Another downside is that their ACH bank-to-bank transfer service has a transfer limit of $2,000 per day. It's good to see a major bank offering an online savings account, but they're going to need to make it more competitive.

Other Bank Bonuses and Online Savings Accounts

To find other bonus deals, please refer to my bank bonus page which has all of my recent bank bonus posts. Refer to my weekly rate summary for the best nationwide savings accounts.
  Tags: Minnesota, California, Washington, Kansas, Bank of the West, Nebraska, checking account, Oklahoma, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado

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Comments
7 comments.
Comment #1 by larkin (anonymous) posted on
larkin
I opened their free checking account June 8. Pushed $250 from my Ally account on June 11. Did another one on July 7. Finished up 10 bill pays on July 9. The bonus posted right after the first statement posted on July 17. Not sure if the Ally pushes or the 10 billpays triggered the bonus but definitely one of the easier ones.

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Comment #2 by Data Is Gold (anonymous) posted on
Data Is Gold
Anyone know if they do a hard/soft pull?

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I do not live in a state where there is a branch. I applied online and the application was approved. An account number was generated. If you choose to fund the account by mail, like I am, mail the check along with the signature card to the address indicated for the signature card. Don't mail the check to a branch (unless you live in a state where there is a branch.) I called and verified this with a CSR.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
i signed up for this account bonus online - VERY, VERY TRICKY.

when the application first loads, at the top, there is a checkbox for checking and another for savings. if you have a slow connection, both boxes are blank. you check checking and then fill out the application. then, if you scroll up again, you see the savings box has been checked for you. (I am a tech programmer and it is possible for the savings box to be automatically checked for you at a time, pre-set by the html page programmer, after the page loads. so you will load the application page, fill out the blanks, and when you are through, unless you scroll up, you will not see the savings box has been automatically checked, but not by you.)

why does this matter? my first application was automatcally approved via email, however i had no idea i had signed up for a savings account ($500 min/mo or else monthly fee charges) until i tried to fund it. it will not let you fund the checking account without also funding the savings simultaneously. i called the 800 number and they said i had to reapply and make sure the savings account box was not checked. i did. my account was immediately declined (via an email) after i finished the application. supposedly because I declined the savings account.

if you can afford to deposit the $500 to the savings, you can successfully apply online. in fact, when i downloaded the customer agreement pdf, it had a whole new section for accounts labelled ONLINE that was effective beginning 9/1/2009 (in the near future). so this bank is in the direct banking business as of Sept 1, 2009.

i am tempted to go back and open the savings to get the automatic approval via email and then close the savings account the following month just to beat their tightwad auto email approval system. it just broadcasts NO POOR BONUS RECIPIENTS to the max and that kind of discrimination is just too
f--ked for me.

i hope this post helps some people, explicitly, those suffering in this economy.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened an a/c online without a branch visit. I live in a state with a branch but not near my place. Hopefully they will honor the bonus.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened the accout in person today.....It's like that the saving and checking accounts bind...I double checked with the CSR who said that even the saving account has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirements...

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Comment #7 by Diane (anonymous) posted on
Diane
I opened a BofW account in a local branch back in June 2009.  Bouns was credited in August 2009 after requirements were satisfied.  I closed the account 12/31/09 with no problems.  I'm ready to open another account for this calendar year... I hope it works!!

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