Update 12/14/2012: The checking promotion has been extended to December 31, 2012.
These Sovereign Bank promotions aren't anything to get excited about, but in today's environment, they may be something to consider if you're looking for a checking account bonus or a decent CD rate. With some of these accounts, you'll have to watch out for fees. Like at other banks, it has become harder to avoid some of the fees.
Checking Account Promotion
For the checking account promotion, Sovereign Bank is offering up to a $125 bonus for opening a checking and money market account. Here's the direct link to the promotions page. The promotion is scheduled to end on 12/31/2012
6/30/2012. One of the following 3 checking packages are required:
- $125 for opening a Premier Checking & Premier Money Market Savings, OR
- $75 for opening a Preferred Checking & Preferred Money Market Savings, OR
- $50 for opening a Classic Checking & Classic Savings
The requirements to receive this bonus include the following:
- Enroll in Online Banking at account opening and a debit card
- Make 5 debit card purchases OR receive direct deposit
All accounts have potential fees, and as you would expect, the accounts with the larger bonuses have higher fees that are harder to avoid. The fees on the savings accounts can be waived if you keep the checking accounts. The following is a summary of the fees for the three checking accounts:
- Premier Checking: No monthly fee with $20,000 or more in combined balances in checking, savings, money market savings, CDs, IRAs, investments, or loans (otherwise, $30)
- Preferred Checking: No monthly fee with direct deposit or qualifying balances (otherwise, $15)
- Classic Checking: No monthly fee with a $500 average daily balance (otherwise, $5)
Sovereign Bank has two CD promotions with fairly competitive rates. The first is a 15-month CD with a 1.01% APY. The second is a 50-month CD with a 1.50% APY. Minimum deposit $500. These CD rates are listed in the Sovereign Bank's CD promotions page as of 6/13/2012.
You can get higher rates at internet banks. The best 1-year CD rate is 1.15% APY at Doral Bank Direct and the best 48-month CD rate is 1.60% APY at Barclays. The best 4-year CD rate at an all-access credit union is 1.96% APY at Melrose Credit Union. These rates are accurate as of 6/13/2012.
Money Market and Savings Promotions
Sovereign Bank's money market promotion isn't a good deal in my opinion. There are many better money market deals that are available from internet banks. It may be something to consider for those who prefer to bank at a large brick-and-mortar bank. In the promotion, you can receive 0.80% APY on balances $100,000 or more on the Premier Money Market Savings Account. This requires the Premier Checking account. This rate is listed in the bank's money market savings page as of 6/13/2012. It should be noted that promotional rates often don't last long, and you'll soon be stuck in a money market account earning low rates.
Sovereign Bank also has an ongoing savings program called Sovereign Goal Savings Account. It pays an "interest bonus" each year based on the account's yearly balance. It requires at least one recurring monthly automatic deposit. The bonuses range from $12.50 for a $2,500 balance to $125 for a $25,000 balance. This can add up to 0.50% to the annual interest rate.
Account Application & Availability
There's an online application link for each promo page. Accounts can also be opened by phone (877.SOV.BANK). Funding can be done by credit card, debit card or with an ACH transfer. I was told they only do a ChexSystem check and a soft credit inquiry with no hard pull that can ding your credit score.
There's no apparent mention on the website about geographic limitations so I called Sovereign Bank. According to the CSR, accounts can be opened from any state. Past checking promotions had been limited to Sovereign Bank's market area.
Sovereign Bank branches are located in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The bank is a FDIC member (FDIC Certificate # 29950).
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.
You can view my latest bank bonus blog posts in this bank bonus page. I and DepositAccounts.com readers often post on bonuses in the checking account deals forum. You can sometimes find bonuses at brokerages in the investments forum.