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$125 to $225 Checking Account Bonuses at KeyBank - Only Certain States


KeyBank has a new checking account promotion in which you can receive up to $225 when you:
  • Open a qualifying checking account and enroll in KeyBank Rewards by November 20, 2009
  • Make one debit card transaction and a combination of two direct deposits and/or automated payments each of $100 or more by January 22, 2010
The $225 bonus requires that you open either the Key Privilege Checking or Key Privilege Select Checking. Both of these have high minimum balance requirements to avoid a monthly service charge. A smaller bonus of $125 is available for opening the free checking account which has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service charge.

Here's an important detail listed in the promotion's FAQs:
  • This offer is not available in all states. Individuals and businesses will only be eligible 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.
And here's some of the important small print:
  • 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 gift card will be reported on Form 1099-INT.
  • If you close your account within 180 days of account opening, you will be charged a $25 account early closure fee.
It appears you can apply online, by phone (1-877-539-6659) or at a branch. Note, if you want the 60,000 KeyBank Rewards instead of the $125 cash bonus, you'll need to call or visit a branch.

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 last year.

KeyBank has been a FDIC member since 1956.

Credit to iBankDesign for this find.

Other Bank Bonuses

To find other bonus deals, please refer to my bank bonus page which has all of my recent bank bonus posts.

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

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Wait a minute. Didn't I read here on Oct. 9 that this bank was no longer accepting new customers?

What's up?

Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Only KeyBank's internet division, KeyDirect, is no longer accepting new customers.

Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Given the above list of payments that do not qualify as automated payments, what would be an example of a qualifying automated payment?

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
They are making it next to impractical to qualify for the bonus.
Too many restrictions and pitfalls and at the end we have to beg and promise to become loyal customer in order to receive the bonus.

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Banking Guy, I entered Florida zip and got this:
"We apologize, we do not offer this product in your area. offers great interest rates directly to consumers and businesses in 14 states including AK, CO, CT, ID, IN, KY, ME, MI, NY, OH, OR, UT, VT, or WA."

Your posting includes Florida, who is correct?

Comment #6 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Regarding the states, I just copied what was in their FAQ.

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
I just called Key, and any pull from the account counts as an automated payment, such as a payment to a CC or a payment to Verizon or another business as long as that company is doing the pull. I did not ask about an ACH pull from another Savings/Checking account.

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Thanks for this tip, I will call to find out more. Also more fine print from here:

The debit card transaction has to be with a KeyBank Rewards debit card, which doesn't come with the free checking account by default. This Rewards debit card has an annual fee of $20 which is waived for the first year.

I agree with the earlier post that says there are lots of restrictions on this bonus.

Comment #9 by mk (anonymous) posted on
Only Key Express Free Checking - eligible for $125 bonus, is available in the state of Florida

Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
what a scam. i almost fell for this. thanks for all the insightful comments.