Update 4/3/2011: The bonus has been extended to 4/22/2011.
Bank of the West has another $100 checking account bonus. This new bonus is scheduled to last until 3/25/2011, and like the promotion from last July it allows either direct deposit of at least $250 or 10 online bill payments. One difference is that this new one requires that each bill payment be at least $25. The direct deposit or bill payment most be completed within 60 days of account opening.
Update 2/14/11: The promotion is now listed on Bank of the West's website. Here's the promotion link.
As of today, a promotion doesn't appear to be listed on Bank of the West's website. It was advertised in today's Oklahoman newspaper (2/13/11). The ad is available online here. I called Bank of the West (800 488-2265) for more details. According to the CSR, this promo begins on Monday (2/14/2011), and it should be available at all branches and online. My guess is that we may see a promotion page at Bank of the West's website tomorrow. I'll update this post if one appears.
Bank of the West's Free Checking qualifies for the promotion. Minimum initial deposit is $100. There's no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees.
Many readers participated in Bank of the West's iPod touch promotion last year. Most have reported receiving the iPod.
Regarding a hard credit pull, I was told last year that they don't do a hard credit inquiry in the application (only a soft pull). So you shouldn't have to worry about a ding to your credit score. However, ChexSystems could cause an issue. One reader reported last year that it's their policy to deny applications when ChexSystems report more than 6 inquiries in the previous 6 months.
Update 2/14/11: There is no mention of geographic restriction at Bank of the West's promotion page. However, I called again today, and the CSR said only those in their market areas would qualify.
Last year's promotions were limited to Bank of the West's market area. Hopefully, I'll be able to update this if the promotion is posted online.
Bank of the West is one of the large regional banks with over 650 branches in the following states: AZ, CA, CO, ID, IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI and WY.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 15.30% based on September 2010 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Bank of the West for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 3514).