Bank of the West has again brought back its $150 checking account promotion. It looks like the same promotion they were offering February. Just like the last one, there's also a $200 bonus, but that requires a checking account with high monthly service fees that can't be easily waived. These promotions are listed on Bank of the West's home page.
Details for the $150 bonus are listed in this Bank of the West promotions page. The checking account must be opened by 8/30/2013.
To qualify for the full $150 requires the following:
- Must open a new Easy Checking, Choice Interest Checking, or 55 Plus Checking account by 8/30/2013 with a minimum checking account opening deposit of $100.
- $100 for establishing a direct deposit of at least $250 (two or more direct deposits that add up to $250 do not qualify). Direct deposit must be payroll, Social Security, pension or other government benefits. The first direct deposit must be posted to the account by 10/31/2013.
- $50 for using a new Bank of the West Debit Card for 10 or more debit card purchases per month for each of the 2 full calendar months immediately following the month of account opening. Each purchase must be $3 or more. All required purchases must be posted by 10/31/2013.
According to the small print, customers who had a Bank of the West checking account as of 7/26/13 or who received any consumer bonus from the Bank between 7/26/12 and 7/26/13 are not eligible.
$200 Checking Account Bonus
Bank of the West is also offering a $200 bonus, but this requires opening a Premier Relationship Checking Account. This account requires a minimum balance of $15,000 or a combined minimum balance of $25,000 to avoid a $30 monthly fee. This promotion also ends on 8/30/2013. Full details are listed in this promotions page.
Did You Receive the Bonus from Past Bank of the West Promotions?
In my past posts on Bank of the West promotions, some readers have commented that the bank didn't pay out the bonus. I thought it would be useful to publish a poll so we can get a better picture of Bank of the West’s history of honoring its promotions. Please refer to my Bank of the West promotion payout poll to take the poll and to view the results.
Beware of Monthly Fees
If you decide to give this promotion a try, don't forget Bank of the West ended its free checking account last year (see review). The Easy Checking has a $8 monthly ($10 with paper statements) unless you meet one of three requirements.
Hard Credit Pull
Regarding a hard credit pull, I was told in 2010 that they don't do a hard credit inquiry in the application (only a soft pull). So you shouldn't have to worry about a ding to your credit score (unless you apply for the credit card). However, ChexSystems could cause an issue. One reader reported in 2010 that it's their policy to deny applications when ChexSystems report more than 6 inquiries in the previous 6 months.
There's an online application, however, the small print states that Bank of the West products are offered to the residents of the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Bank of the West Online Savings Account
This is another case of a large bank's online savings account becoming a dud. When I reported on Bank of the West's online savings account in 2010, the top-tier yield was 1.25%. At that time ING DIRECT's savings account had a 1.10% APY. I just checked Bank of the West's online savings account yield for California, and the top-tier rate is only 0.25%, and that requires a $100K minimum. The rate for a $10K minimum is only 0.05%. As a comparison, the savings account at Capital One 360 (used to be ING DIRECT) now has a 0.75%. So I think it's safe to say that Bank of the West has earned the dud status.
Bank of the West Overview
Bank of the West is a large bank with $62 billion in assets. It has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 4.43% (excellent) based on March 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Bank of the West for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 3514).