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Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Another Perk with a Perkstreet Financial Checking Account


PerkStreet Financial

If have been looking for an internet checking account and if you prefer debit cards over credit cards, this week is a good time to consider Perkstreet Financial. If you open its checking account before the end of December 25, 2011, you can qualify for a $25 cash bonus. The account must be funded with at least $25, and you must use your debit card to make 3 purchases within 30 days of opening your account. It's not a big bonus, but if you had been considering Perkstreet Financial before, it's an extra little reason to consider them again.

In October I reviewed why Perkstreet Financial is a better deal these days when interest rates are so low. To understand why this is the case, it's important to review the perks of using your Perkstreet Financial debit card:

  • 5% cash back (limit $250/yr) when you shop at stores included in categories that change monthly
  • 2% cash back everywhere for the days your checking account balance is at least $5,000 (or first 3 months)
  • 1% cash back for all other cases

Purchases must be signature-based (non-PIN) to qualify for the rewards. The cash back rewards come in the form of gift cards. Some of the selections include MasterCard, Target and

Comparing Perkstreet Financial to Other Alternatives

The cost of getting 2% cash back is maintaining at least $5,000 in the Perkstreet checking account that earns no interest. But with interest rates so low these days, that cost is going down. In October I reviewed how Perkstreet compares with other debit card options. You can still earn 1.10% APY in a regular checking account at Alliant Credit Union (as of 12/19/2011). Also, there are still reward checking accounts that pay 3.00% APY and 4.00% APY for balances up to $25K. Debit card usage allows these reward checking accounts to be able to pay such high interest rates.

If you prefer credit cards for security reasons, you'll probably want to stick with checking accounts like at Alliant and a good cash-back credit card.

Perkstreet Financial Checking Features

Perkstreet Financial's checking accounts do have several nice features such as free ATM usage and many easy ways for making deposits. One unique deposit feature that I haven't found at other internet banks is a free way to make cash deposits. Perkstreet Financial customers can deposit cash free using MoneyGram Express Payment. According to Perkstreet there are "18,000 locations nationwide, including Wal-Mart stores." I have more details about Perkstreet Financial checking account features in my October Perkstreet Financial checking review.

PerkStreet Financial Overview

According to the PerkStreet Financial's website, banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank which is a FDIC member. The bank has an overall health score at of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 12.60% (above average) based on September 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of The Bancorp Bank for more details. The Bancorp Bank has a been a FDIC member since 2000 (FDIC Certificate # 35444).

Related Pages: PerkStreet Financial, checking account

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Perkstreet and the Bancorp Bank is aweful in terms of the following: 1, They do a hard pull on your credit report to consider opening your account, and, they use ChexSystems; 2, You earn no interest on your money held in checking account; 3, To get 2% cashback after the current 3-month-from-account-application-or-opening introductory period, you need to maintain at least $5000 in the account..and probably more if you use the debit card for any purchases in each month; 4, If you have NO transactions (no debit card usage, no check writing, no Online billpay, or no withdrawal or a deposit in the account) in the month, you pay $4.50 monthly fee; 5, Perkstreet DOES NOT OFFER FREE ATM USAGE FOR ALL ATMS; you have to use only ATMs designated STARsf for no fees and no surcharges. If you do not, then they charge you $2, plus, any fees or surcharges the ATM owner charges. These are not reimbursed :-( ; 6, The interest rates on most online savings accounts or money market accounts are about 0.85% on average; the interest rates on most Reward Checking Accounts for upto $25,000 is 2.49%, as of December 21, 2011. A loss in this interest is the price you pay for the account. 7, Similarly, there are many credit cards from Chase, Citibank, Discover, American Express, Bank of America, FIA, Captial One, to name a few, that offer much more than 1% back (and most you can get cash or travel at the same conversion rate); 6, There are credit cards that give you 3% or 2% on groceries, gas purchases; and, some give 1.5 to 2.0% on all purchases; 7, there's credit cards with more broader rotating categories for 3 months instead of 5% monthly Perks; 8, An online savings account, a reward checking account, and 1-2 credit cards is much better; or, a high-yield checking or money market account and 1-2 credit cards is also better. Plus, people who make non-US purchases or "foreign transactions" are better off using the few credit cards that have no foreign transaction fees; unlike most banks' debit cards and credit cards that charge a range from 0.8%-to-3.0% in foreign transaction fees on those purchases. Perkstreet charges 1%).

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Why don't you support your community and join a Credit Union?