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BB&T Checking Account Bonus But Beware of Monthly Fees



Many banks may have ended their free checking accounts, but at least a few are still offering new account bonuses. Customers will have to be more careful if they plan to take advantage of these promotions. That's the case with BB&T which is offering a $100 bonus for opening a checking account and performing some additional activities. Last year BB&T ended its free checking account, so those interested in this promotion will have to make sure they can avoid the fees.

To qualify for the $100 bonus, new customers must open a BB&T checking account and set-up direct deposit OR make 3 online bill payments. The offer is scheduled to end on 4/30/2012. Here's the link to the BB&T promotion page. Promotion code is AIEAP.

Below is the offer's small print. I've highlighted some of the important details:

Eligibility: This special limited time offer is available to new clients that open a new personal checking account between 03/1/2012 and 04/30/2012 through A new client is a person who is not currently a signer and who has not been a signer within the last 6 months on any BB&T personal checking account. Offer is subject to change or be withdrawn at any time without notice, and cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer is limited to one incentive per household, and does not apply to second or multiple personal accounts. In order to receive the $100 incentive, new clients must do at least one of the following: 1) Use BB&T online bill payment service to initiate 3 online bill payments (minimum payment of $25) from your new checking account within 90 days of account opening, OR 2) Enroll in and receive 2 recurring direct deposits (minimum of $100) to the new personal checking account within 90 days of account opening. Any accounts not in good standing, closed, and/or with a balance less than or equal to zero at the time we review account eligibility will not receive the $100 incentive. Normal minimum balance opening requirements apply. Some BB&T checking account options accrue interest. For example, an Elite Gold account earns 0.02% annual percentage yield in North Carolina; rates good as of 02/01/2012.

The $100 account opening incentive will be deposited directly to your account within 120 days of account opening and will be reported to the IRS as required by law.

As I mentioned above, BB&T has ended its free checking account last year. BB&T Bright Banking has a $10 monthly maintenance fee ($12 for IN/KY) unless you meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Direct Deposit (One monthly ACH Direct Deposit of $100 or greater per statement cycle)
  • $1,500 ($2,000 in KY/IN) average checking balance per statement cycle
  • $6,000 ($7,500 in KY/IN) combined in deposit and retail outstanding loan balances
  • Any BB&T personal mortgage

Those 55 and over can qualify for BB&T Senior Checking which has a lower monthly fee and lower balance requirements to avoid the monthly fee.

Regarding a hard credit inquiry (that can temporarily ding your credit score), I was told that when you apply for an account, BB&T "may require a credit check and/or a ChexSystems report be pulled for account approval." I assume that credit check may be a hard pull.


I was told by the bank's CSR that a new customer must have an address in BB&T's footprint to open an account. BB&T branches are located in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.

Closing a BB&T account

In my post from 2010, several readers reported that BB&T makes it difficult to close accounts. If you can't make it into a branch, you may be required to mail in a notarized letter requesting that the account to be closed. One reader commented that he wasn't required to mail a notarized letter, but instead he was required to mail a copy of his ID with the letter.

BB&T Bank Overview

BB&T is the nation's 13th largest bank by deposits. It has $169 billion in assets and around 1,800 branches throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Texas. BB&T added 346 branches and expanded into Texas in 2009 when BB&T acquired the failed Colonial Bank.

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.

  Tags: BB&T, checking account, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
I actually did go in person to a branch to close my account; I'd already transferred the balance so the clerk told me, "Okay you're all set".  A month later I got a statement showing a monthly fee!  When I called, BB&T claimed I never closed the account.  To avoid headaches like mine, be sure to get proof IN WRITING when you close.

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
I had a similar experience. I mailed in a letter asking for the account to be closed. A lady from the branch that I sent the letter to, called me, and told me the account was closed.

 6 months later I got a statement showing the account was still open and I was being charged fees!

I called her back and she was rude and dismissive and told me she would not close the account until I paid all the fees.

I told her to go pound sand and sent a certified letter to corporate, who reversed the fees, closed the account, and apologized. 

Comment #3 by Hoody (anonymous) posted on
funny, I have a MnyKt account at Suntrust, called last friday about the rate, which changes every 90 days, was told the rate was going to .15 but if I open a checking account it wold be back at .50 for 90 days, Well I said I'll think about it in an email, I went out to check snail mail, and found a letter from Suntrust saying they will give me 200 bucks to open a checking lolol, so hy why not, took the letter the next day to the branch manager, and said, you must work fast lol, showed him I can get the .50 for 90 days and 200 bucks lol.

I have enough in 2 CD's and this MnyMkt to cover any fees, opened the checking and will get the 200 deposited by July.

Only thing is it comes with a silly debit card, which I already got and cut up, also changed the option to that dangerous overdraft link to other ST accounts to NO!, Other than that it just sits there with 100 bucks I used to open it till I get the 200, than a few months later will close it again.