HomeStreet Bank is again offering a checking account promotion and it has gotten better since I reviewed it last year. The bonus amounts have gone up. Details are listed in the bank's promotion page as of 1/13/2011. I don't see any expiration date, but based on its history, the promo comes and goes. The following activities are required to receive the full $300:
- $100 for direct deposits of payroll, pension, social security or other income to your account
- $80 for using your new Visa Check card ($2 per purchase up to $80)
- $75 for using free Online Bill Pay ($15 per payment up to $75)
- $20 for receiving e-statements
- $25 for giving the bank your old checks and debit card from your old bank ($15 for your check card and $2 per pad of checks up to $10).
Some important small print of the offer includes:
- Minimum opening deposit for the checking account is $100
- The Totally Free Checking qualifies (checks are not free)
- All transactions eligible for a bonus payment must be made within the first 3 statement cycles after account opening
- Offer is limited to one account per household
- Accounts closed by the customer within 90 days of opening are subject to a $15 early closure fee
The bank continues to offer a nice refer-a-friend promotion. You can make $50 when you refer a friend who opens a checking account. There's no limit on the number of referrals you can make.
When I posted on this promotion in 2009, a reader mentioned being told by the CSR that there is no hard credit inquiry.
It appears a branch visit is required for this promotion. Branches are located in Washington State, Oregon and Hawaii.
HomeStreet Bank Financial Health Review
HomeStreet Bank has been operating under a FDIC Cease & Desist order since May 2009. The bank has info on this order in its Q&A section. HomeStreet Bank is not in the best financial shape. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 2 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 180.87% (poor) based on September 2010 data. The bank is a member FDIC (FDIC Certificate # 32489).
What Happens to Your Bonus When the Bank Fails?
With FDIC deposit insurance, you don't have to worry about your losing any money if you keep under the FDIC limits. However, FDIC doesn't cover sign-up bonuses. If the bank fails before it credits your bonus, you could be out of luck. That's what happened to some readers who signed up for NetBank promotions. The bank failed in 2007, and was acquired by ING Direct which did not honor NetBank bonuses.
Other Bank Bonuses
To find other bonus deals at other banks and credit unions, please refer to the bank bonus page which has all of my recent bank bonus blog posts. There are also additional bonuses listed in the checking account deals forum.