FNBO Direct Update: New Cash Back Program and a New Bonus
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FNBO Direct has started a new service for FNBO Direct debit/credit cardholders called My Deals. It appears similar to programs at other banks like Sallie Mae Bank's UPromise or Bank of America's Add it Up. Like those programs, it's intended to help you to get some cash back when you shop. Here's how FNBO Direct describes how you earn cash back with My Deals in its FAQ's:
My Deals is based on how you already shop, so the offers received are relevant to you. The more you use your FNBO Direct debit/credit card, the more offers you'll receive. Once you choose to take advantage of these offers, they are automatically loaded onto your card for that account. Or you may choose to ignore the offer and it will expire. The more offers you claim and then redeem, the more you'll see relevant ones appear based on your shopping history.
I have not tried it so I can't say how much you could save. It's free so there doesn't seem to be any downside to giving it a try.
Cash Back Credit Card
FNBO Direct also has a cash back credit card, the ExtraEarnings Visa Card. This has been around for several years. The cash back would be on top of the My Deals savings. The basic cash back features of the credit card are as follows:
- Earn 2 points for every $1 in qualifying purchases for the first 12 billing cycles after your account is opened.
- Continue to earn 1 point for every $1 in qualifying purchases after the first 12 billing cycles.
- Redeem your points by requesting a $25 deposit into your FNBO Direct Online Savings Account each time you accrue 2,500 points on your account
Online BillPay Bonus
Yesterday, I received an email from FNBO Direct for a $25 bonus for opening its Online BillPay Account. This is a promotion that FNBO Direct regularly offers. Here's how the email described the offer:
we'll give you a $25 bonus when you open an FNBO Direct Online BillPay Account and use your check card 6 times before December 31, 2010 and we'll automatically credit your FNBO Direct Online BillPay Account by January 14, 2011.
And here's the important small print:
In order to earn the bonus, your FNBO Direct Online BillPay Account must: (1) remain open for 90 days, and (2) you must use your FNBO Direct Visa check card at least six (6) times before December 31, 2010. If you earn the bonus, we will credit your FNBO Direct Online BillPay Account by January 14, 2011. This offer is only applicable to FNBO Direct Online BillPay accounts opened after October 1, 2010 and is limited to one bonus per household. This promotion is set to end on December 31, 2010, however, we may change or discontinue this offer at any time.
I wasn't able to find this promotion on FNBO Direct's website, so I called FNBO Direct, and according to the CSR, anyone who has a FNBO Direct Online Savings Account can qualify for this bonus even if they did not receive this email. If you don't have a savings account, you can apply for the savings account first, and then you should be eligible for this Online BillPay bonus.
Online BillPay Account
The Online BillPay bonus isn't much, but it's one extra perk for the Online BillPay Account. It has some noteworthy features. In addition to the new My Deals program, the account has a history of a respectable interest rate. As of 11/12/2010, the rate is 1.10% APY on all balances. That may seem low, but for internet checking accounts today it's near the top for small balances. As a comparison, you only earn 0.50% for balances under $15K at Ally Bank and you only earn 0.25% for balances under $50K at ING Direct as of 11/12/2010. For details of potential fees, please refer to FNBO Direct's Online BillPay disclosure. 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.
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.
In terms of interest rates, FNBO Direct's savings account is now on par with ING Direct's Orange Savings. The rate is now about average for internet savings accounts.
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.
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