Flagstar Bank has brought back the promotion for its S.M.A.R.T Interest Checking in which you can lock in a rate of 2% on balances up to $100K. However, the guarantee period is now only 3 months instead of 12 months. As an alternative, you can choose a $100 bonus which is the same as before. Here's the link to the promo page as of 4/18/10. The offer has the following requirements:
- New personal checking account customers only
- Minimum opening deposit of $50
- Direct deposit of income of at least $250 per month
- Direct deposit must be established within first 60 days of account opening
- Offer good only when opening a Flagstar interest-bearing checking account.
Last year a reader mentioned that a Flagstar rep at his local branch told him that they would allow him to do an ACH from PayPal to meet the direct deposit requirement. Your miles may vary on this.
The online application requires you to enter your zip code, and if it's outside of MI, IN or GA, it states:
You may still take advantage of our $100 or 2% offer. Please click Continue below to select the checking product best for you, or call (800) 642-0039 to speak to a banking expert.
When I called Flagstar in November, I was told that this promotion is only for those who live in their market area (Michigan, Indiana and Georgia).
Flagstar's Express Money Market Account
For those who don't live in Flagstar's market area, you can open accounts at FlagstarDirect.com. Flagstar has been offering an internet money market account since July 2007. The rates had remained competitive until last December when the rate plummeted. It continues to be uncompetitive for an internet money market account. As of 4/18/2010, the top rate is 1.10% APY, but this requires a $100K minimum balance. Under $100K, the rate drops to 0.60% APY. The Express Internet Checking is a little more competitive with a 0.85% APY on all balances. It does offer some perks like free checks and free identity theft protection.
Flagstar has been hit hard by the mortgage crisis, and it has been losing money since 2007. Flagstar recently raised $287 million in a share sale. Bankrate.com now gives the bank 1 star (lowest) for safety and soundness based on 9/30/09 data. BauerFinancial gives Flagstar Bank 2 stars (problematic) based on 12/31/09 data. The bank is a member FDIC (FDIC Certificate # 32541).
Other Bank Bonuses
To find other bonus deals at other banks, please refer to my bank bonus page which has all of my recent bank bonus posts.