AnchorBank is offering up to $150 for opening any new personal checking account and performing certain activities. This is a nice upgrade from last year's promotion which had just a $100 bonus. This offer is listed in the bank's promotion page. It's scheduled to end on 4/15/2012.
The required activities include:
- $50 for opening a checking account
- $50 for setting up direct deposit
- $50 for making three debit card purchases
The direct deposit and debit card purchases must be completed within 60 days of account opening. Existing checking account customers are not eligible for the bonus. Another important note mentioned in the small print is that the "account must remain open for six months and should be utilized as the primary checking account." Credit for this find goes to this iBankDesign thread. I've pasted the small print below:
To qualify for the full $150 you must: Open a new AnchorBank checking account with the appropriate minimum deposit of new money (money not currently held by AnchorBank) (Qualifies for $50). Within 60 days of account opening you must initiate a monthly direct deposit, which includes payroll, pension, Social Security or other government benefits (Qualifies for $50). Within 60 days of account opening you must make three debit card purchases (Qualifies for $50). The amount indicated above will be automatically deposited into your new account within six to eight weeks after the completion of each of the above events. This promotion is for new personal checking accounts only. If you already have an AnchorBank checking account, you are welcome to switch types or open a new account; however, only first checking accounts qualify for the $150 promotion. Not valid with other offers or on HSAs. Standard account qualifications apply. Account must remain open for six months and should be utilized as the primary checking account. $100 required to open all accounts except High Interest, which requires $5,000. Offer expires April 15, 2012.
The free checking qualifies for this bonus. It has no monthly fee or minimum balance. However, a minimum $100 initial deposit is required. Also, bill pay is not free. It costs $4.95 per month for up to ten bills per month. Bill pay is free with Direct Checking, but this requires direct deposit to avoid a $9/month fee. Please refer to this AnchorBank checking page to compare the features.
In my post on last year's promotion, the reader Pondus provided the following comment about his experience with a previous AnchorBank promotion:
When I did this promo in the summer, Chex was pulled without any hard credit inquiries. The bank credited the portions of the bonus I qualified for promptly, even early, though the debit transactions were really small. The "primary checking account" use requirement, whatever that is, was explained to me by the teller as "don't just let the account sit for 6 months". I chose to maintain a DD of about $100 going there every two weeks and used all of it for billpay, which can be set up as free with DD and is not the abusively slow kind. The billpay also has a good database so I never had to fill out any biller addresses, even for things that Alliant wanted addresses filled out for. Anchor also sent me a batch of duplicate checks for free. Although the offer does not mention a 1099, I just got my 1099-INT for the full $100.
There's an online application. At the bottom of the application, the following limitation is mentioned:
Checking products are limited to residents of Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.
If you don't live in Wisconsin near an AnchorBank branch, you should confirm with the bank that you can qualify for this promotion before applying online. The bank's number is 1-800-252-6246. Last year two readers reported being told by AnchorBank CSRs that only Wisconsin residents near AnchorBank branches could qualify for the promotion.
AnchorBank is a sizable bank with around 50 offices throughout Wisconsin including the cities of Madison, Milwaukee and Appleton.
AnchorBank continues to be in poor financial shape. The bank has been operating under an OTS Prompt Correction Action Directive since August 2010. The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 1 star (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 137.40% (poor) based on September 2011 data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1938 (FDIC Certificate # 29979).
The main concern for those who apply for this bonus is if the bank is closed by regulators before the bonus is credited. There's no issue about losing money if you keep under $250K in deposits. However, the bonus could be at risk. The bank that acquires a failed bank is not obligated to honor bonuses. That happened when ING Direct assumed NetBank accounts in 2007.
Other Bank Bonuses
We have a new bank promotions page with a table of all of the active bank and credit union promotions. You can filter the table based on the type of promotion and based on your state. I have more details about how to use this page in this blog post.