Washington Federal is offering a new checking account promotion in which customers can receive either an Amazon Kindle or Kindle Fire. The details are listed at Washington Federal's promotion page. The promotion is scheduled to end on May 31, 2012.
To qualify for the Amazon Kindle ($79 value), a Simple or Performance Checking Account must be opened. To qualify for the Kindle Fire ($199), a Stellar Checking account must be opened. As you might expect, you'll have to worry about monthly fees, especially for the Stellar Checking account. However, if you're careful, these could be good deals. As is common with checking bonuses, the bank will report the value of the gift on a 1099. At least the Kindle value is fairly standard. You don't want the bank to overvalue a gift value on a 1099. That will cost you more in taxes.
In addition to opening one of these checking accounts, the following activities are required to qualify for the bonus:
- Establish at least one recurring direct deposit of a payroll, pension or Social Security payment
- Establish at least two automatic (ACH) transfers to third parties linked to the account
According to the small print, there's a limit of 2 awards per household.
The Simple Checking Account has no monthly maintenance fees, but there's a $4.95 monthly fee for Bill Pay. Both the Performance Checking and Stellar Checking have a $8 monthly fee unless you keep a $1,000 minimum balance or have $5,000 on deposit. The Stellar Checking Account requires a minimum opening deposit of $10,000. I don't see any requirements about how long this initial deposit has to remain in the account. So for those who have $10,000 available, this could be an easy way to earn a free Kindle Fire.
It appears a branch visit is required for opening a checking account. Washington Federal branches are located in several cities in the Western states of Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. Some of the major cities include Phoenix, Tucson, Boise, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Portland, Dallas, Salt Lake and Seattle.
Washington Federal 5-Year CD Rates
Those who may already have a Washington Federal CD, this might be an easy way to earn a free Kindle Fire. If your CD balance is over $5,000, you may not have to worry about the Stellar Account monthly fee.
Washington Federal continues to have competitive 5-year CD rates (2.05% APY for a $90K minimum, 2.00% APY for a $1K minimum). These rates used to be 25 basis points higher when I last reported on them in December.
Washington Federal is a sizable bank with $13.65 billion in assets. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 20.57% (average) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Washington Federal for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1935 (FDIC Certificate # 28088).
Other Bank Bonuses
We have a 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.