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Union Bank Checking Account Promotion with 5% Cash Back Debit Card


Union Bank (San Francisco, CA)

Union Bank has a checking account promotion in which you can earn 5% cash back from your debit card purchases for up to $250. To earn the full $250, it will require $5,000 in debit card purchases through April 30, 2012. Also, customers should be aware that Union Bank ended its free checking accounts in January. So they'll have to be careful to avoid monthly fees.

The details of this offer are listed at this Union Bank promotions page. Here's the summary that's listed on this promotions page:

  • open a new personal or business checking account at any Union Bank branch by January 31, 2012
  • Ask for "5% debit"
  • Get 5% cash back, up to $250, on ALL debit card purchases through April 30, 2012

Below is the offer's small print:

Mention this 5% Debit Cash Back offer when you open any personal or small business checking account in branch (minimum $100 opening deposit) with a Union Bank Debit MasterCard® by January 31, 2012. You'll earn 5% cash back up to $250 on all debit card purchases between account opening and April 30, 2012. Purchases returned do not qualify. Debit Cash Back bonus will be deposited into the cardholder's primary checking account by May 31, 2012, which must be active and in good standing. Bonus may require a Form 1099-MISC be sent for tax purposes. 5% Debit Cash Back offer cannot be combined with any other checking offers. Offer valid only for new Union Bank customers. New customers limited to those who have not maintained an account relationship with Union Bank within the previous six months. This offer available for one small business and one personal checking account per household. See our All About Personal, or All About Business, Accounts & Services Disclosure and Agreement and appropriate Fee Schedule for account details

Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this promotion.

Potential Issues

One important thing to note in the small print is that the "Bonus may require a Form 1099-MISC be sent for tax purposes." That's one reason why cash back from credit cards is better since it's generally not recognized as taxable. So if you can get 5% cash back from a credit card (like from the AARP Chase promotion), that is probably going to be a better deal.

As I mentioned at the top, customers should watch out for monthly service fees. A reader mentioned in the forum in November that Union Bank was ending its free checking account in January. To have the monthly service fees waived for Union Bank Essentials Checking, one of the following is required:

  • A single direct deposit of at least $100 per month
  • Average monthly ledger balance: $1,500
  • Combined average monthly ledger balance: $5,000

More details about the Essential Checking account and two other Union Bank checking accounts are listed at this Union Bank page.

Finally, many people prefer credit cards over debit cards for security reasons. My last discussion of this issue was in my May post.

Promotion Availability

Unlike past Union Bank promotions, this one requires a branch visit. Union Bank branches are located in California, Washington and Oregon.

Union Bank Overview

Union Bank is a large regional bank that's based in San Francisco, California with over 400 branches. Its overall health score at is 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 9.51% (above average) based on September 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Union Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1979 (FDIC Certificate # 22826).

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.

  Tags: Union Bank (San Francisco, CA), California, Washington, Oregon, checking account, checking account

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
$250 is less than $600, so I doubt that they'd send a 1099-MISC.

Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
you will defnately get a 1099

Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
no kidding, whoever told you it takes $600 to get a 1099 is smoking something, it only takes $10 or more in "perks" to get a 1099 on a checking\savings account, so if you spend enough to get 10.00 cash back, plan on getting one. The lobster on our politicians plates don't catch and serve themselves, hahaha