FNBO Direct updated its home page today, and one deal that's now listed on its home page is a $25 bonus for opening its Online BillPay Account. The bonus isn't much, but I also wanted to point out a notable feature of this Online BillPay Account. It has a respectable interest rate of 1.25% APY for all balances (as of 4/22/2010). This might seem low, but for non-reward checking accounts, I'm afraid it's competitive these days. As a comparison, you need a $100K balance in ING Direct's Electric Orange account to earn 1.25% APY. You only earn 0.25% for balances under $50K. As you can see in the DepositAccounts.com Checking Account rate table, only three other institutions offer nationwide non-reward checking accounts with higher rates for all balances.
One thing FNBO Direct didn't improve on their website was to make the disclosures easier to find. I was only able to find the Online BillPay disclosure at the start of the application. There are no monthly service fees, but there are other fees to note including a dormant account fee, a foreign ATM fee and a fee for using PopMoney service which allows you to send money to other people.
So if you're looking for a competitive online checking account, this $25 signup bonus may be worthwhile. To earn $25, open an FNBO Direct Online BillPay Account and use your check card 6 times before June 30, 2010, and FNBO Direct will automatically credit your account by July 15, 2010. You must not already have the Online BillPay Account, and it's limited to one bonus per household.
FNBO Direct Overview
FNBO Direct became popular in 2007 when it launched its 6.00% savings account promotion. However, it also angered many customers back in 2007 when it put holds on some customer accounts when FNBO Direct determined the customers didn't comply with an employment history verification. I had an account during this time, but I didn't have this problem.
The savings account has remained fairly competitive. I have the savings account rate history in this post with a comparison to the rates of HSBC Advance (formerly HSBC Direct).
FNBO Direct is a division of First National Bank of Omaha, and accounts at FNBO Direct are FDIC insured under First National Bank of Omaha (FDIC Certificate # 5452). For more about the financials of First National Bank of Omaha and more links of my previous FNBO Direct posts, please refer to the FNBO Direct rates and reviews page.