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

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Bank of the West
Bank of the West has brought back its $100 checking account bonus. This new bonus is available until 2/19/2010, and like the last one it allows either direct deposit of at least $250 or 10 online bill payments. The promotion details are listed in the bank's promotion page. Some important details mentioned in the small print include:
  • Open any new personal checking account
  • 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
I just called the bank's customer service number (800 488-2265 / option 8), and according to the CSR, you don't need to come into a branch. People in any state can apply online and qualify for the bonus. Note, in a call last year I was told a branch visit would be required for the bonus. If you hear something different, please leave a comment. Also note, I was told they don't do a hard credit inquiry in the application (only a soft pull). So it shouldn't have to worry about a ding to your credit score. It should be noted that I've often received wrong info on this issue from CSRs.

A few readers shared their experience with this bonus last year. If you participated in this promotion last year, please leave a comment about how it went. Hopefully, the bonuses were paid without problems.

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 continues to offer an online savings account with the competitive yield of 1.50% APY for balances of $10K and above as of 1/14/2010. This is the same rate when I posted on this account last August. Unfortunately, 1.50% is now competitive for online savings accounts. However, the rate is low for balances under $10K (0.50%). In August I was told by the CSR that 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.

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 and the savings account section of DepositAccounts.com for the best nationwide savings account rates.
  Tags: Minnesota, California, Washington, Kansas, Bank of the West, Nebraska, checking account, Oklahoma, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado

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Comments
14 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I did this promotion in Nov 2009 with a branch visit. When I opened my account, the CSR implied that I need to open a saving account with minimum opening balance of $50 in order for the promotion. After I asked where is this requirement came from, she backed down. I completed my 10 online payments on Nov 27 and got my $100 bonus on Dec 18, 09.

-1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
For a bank, Bank of the West is a good outfit. My checking is there because I live very close to a branch. They are always helpful and professional.

(Of course the rest of my money including savings is in credit unions with higher yield)

-1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
We did this offer in late 2009 as well. We did NOT visit a local branch. We filled out the application online. We used direct deposit to fulfill the requirement. $100 bonus was paid eventually.

When it says one bonus each househould per calendar year, does it mean that I can try it again now? or do I have to wait 365 days from the last time the account was opened? Thanks.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
the in-branch people are really dumb, & asked why I came in. I said I got an email that said I had to 'sign a card'. They had no clue. Took 1 hr to "help" me.

Bank of the West left me alone 6 months, got $100 Checking Account Bonus easily.

Bank of the West Free Checking accounts come with:
Free Online Banking with Bill Pay
Unlimited check writing
Discounts on consumer loan rates
Unlimited use of Bank of the West ATMs
Bank of the West Debit Card with everyday savings on selected merchandise
Free personal assistance through our Telephone Banking Center
Deposits eligible for FDIC insurance up to the maximum established by the FDIC per depositor and ownership type
What you'll need for our fast, secure online sign-up
About seven minutes to complete the application
$100 minimum opening balance
Social Security or taxpayer ID number
Driver license or state ID
Date of Birth, Email address and Physical Street Address
Routing number, if you'll be opening your account by transferring funds from another bank

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I find your blog very interesting and informative as well. I would like to know though, if opening up multiple checking accounts with different banks would hurt my credit score in any way? Author(s) & Readers - please share your views.

Thanks,
A.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Application Decision: Under Review

Your Decision Details Thank you for applying for an account with Bank of the West. We have received your application, are reviewing it and will contact you with any questions.

In the event that we approve your application, we will utilize the instructions that you've provided us to fund your account(s).

Emmm, don't like this.

1
Comment #7 by cactus (anonymous) posted on
cactus
For a bank, Bank of the West is a good outfit. (I still keep my savings and CDs elsewhere)

2
Comment #8 by Joe (anonymous) posted on
Joe
Does the direct deposit have to occur multiple times, or can it just happen once?

1
Comment #9 by SFpuppy (anonymous) posted on
SFpuppy
BOW policy is to deny applications where ChexSystems report more than 6 Inquiries in the previous 6 months. Just FYI.

1
Comment #10 by mschoenf posted on
mschoenf
Does anybody have experience on whether an ACH from an online savings account would be recognized by BoW as a direct deposit for requirement fullfilment purposes?

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened an account with Bank of the West in Novemeber/December. Did the 10 bill pays and got the $100 this week. I am not in a state where a branch is at. So it does work. Credit pull?????

Enjoy!

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
they declined due to credit. 

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just tried to open in TN, and is not on the drop down list of states in the application.  I call state discrimination!

1