Sovereign Bank is offering a $150 cash bonus for opening a checking and money market account. Here's the direct link to the promotions page. Accounts must be opened by November 12, 2010. Here are the requirements:
- Open a new Sovereign Premier Checking account with a minimum $100 deposit
- Open a new Sovereign Premier Money Market Savings account with a minimum $100 deposit
- Enroll in Online Banking at account opening
- Make 5 debit card purchases or receive direct deposit within 60 days of account opening
When you qualify, you will receive a credit of $150 to your new checking account within 75 days after you open your checking account.
Some important small print:
- Offer available only to residents in the following states: ME, VT, NH, CT, RI, MA, NY, NJ, PA, WV, MD, DE, and District of Columbia.
- The amount of the bonus credited to your account will be reported to the IRS as interest
- Current personal checking customers or anyone who has had a personal checking account with Sovereign Bank in the last 6 months are not eligible for this offer.
Balance Requirements & Monthly Fees
One important note about the Sovereign Premier Checking account is that there's a high minimum balance requirement to avoid a monthly fee. Here is what is stated in the Premier Checking page:
No monthly fee with $15,000 or more in combined balances in checking, savings, money market savings, CDs, IRAs, investments, or loans (otherwise, $30)
The Premier Money Market Savings account is free of monthly fees as long as you maintain the Premier Checking Account. The money market rates are low (currently 0.35% for balances of $10K to $25K). CDs can also be used to meet the balance requirement. As of 9/19/2010, there are two CDs with rates that are fairly competitive: 1.25% APY 1-year CD and 2.00% APY 3-year CD.
When I called Sovereign Bank in April 2008 regarding a similar checking promotion, I was told that there's no account closure fee if an account is closed after 90 days. Otherwise, it's $25. The CSR also said they don't perform a hard credit inquiry. They just use ChexSystem in the application.
There's an online application link in the promo page for the checking. However, the small print states that residential addresses must be located in the northeast states (see above).
Branches are located in the Northeast in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The bank is a FDIC member (FDIC Certificate # 29950).