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 BBT.com. 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 Offer is subject to change or be withdrawn at any time without notice, and cannot be combined with any other offer.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.