Valley National Bank has a limited-time checking account promotion in which you can receive $100 for opening a Valley Rewards Perfect Checking account, establishing direct deposit and making 3 online bill payments. This offer is listed on the bank's front page and in this checking account page as of 2/10/2011.
Here's the small print of the offer:
To qualify for Valley Rewards® Perfect Checking, receive $50 cash reward when you open a new Valley Rewards® Perfect Checking Account and initiate a monthly direct deposit such as a payroll, pension, social security or other government benefits. Receive $50 after enrolling in online banking and completing three merchant bill payments. The required first direct deposit and bill pay transactions must be completed within the first 60 days of account opening to qualify for $100 cash reward. Cash rewards will be credited within 90 days of account opening and may be reportable as taxable income. Cash rewards offered to new checking customers only. Limit one per customer, two per household.
I'm not sure why they have "rewards" in the name of the checking account. It's not a high-yield reward checking account. Also, it's not a free checking account, but it only requires a $99 balance to avoid a $12 monthly fee.
Valley National Bank Overview
A branch visit appears to be required to open an account. Branches are located in New York and New Jersey with most branches in the New York City metro area.
I've posted on several new-branch specials at Valley National in previous posts so keep an eye out for these types of deals.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 3 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 8.04% (excellent) based on September 2010 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Valley National Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 9396).