Unlike most checking account promotions, this one at First Citizens Bank doesn’t require direct deposit. There are other ways to qualify for the bonus without direct deposit. On the downside, it’s similar to most checking account promotions in that the qualifying checking accounts have potential monthly service fees. If you’re careful, this promotion can be a good deal. Here’s the link to the bank’s promotion page.
To receive the $150 bonus, you’ll need to open either a new Premier or Prestige checking account with a new debit card by April 30, 2014 and meet ONE of the following requirements within the first 60 days of account opening:
- receive a qualifying direct deposit, OR
- make 5 debit card transactions, OR
- make 5 qualifying electronic payments
The easiest way to qualify for this bonus is with 5 debit card purchases. If you want to do direct deposit or electronic payments instead, please be aware of the following small print:
A qualifying direct deposit is defined as a deposit of $500.00 or more that is electronically deposited by an employer or an outside agency, such as a paycheck, pension, Social Security or other regular monthly income. A qualifying electronic payment is defined as completing a Bill Pay or Popmoney transaction via Personal Online Banking or Mobile Banking payable to a recipient other than the account owner(s). Credit card cash advance transfers, transfers from one account to another or deposits made at a branch or ATM do not qualify as a direct deposit or electronic payment.
Once you have met the requirements, the bonus will be credited to your account within 60 days.
Here’s a good comparison of the Premier and Prestige checking accounts. The Premier checking account is the easiest one to avoid monthly service fees. That can be done by a $5,000 combined daily balance or direct deposit totaling at least $4,000. Refer to the comparison page for the full details.
Both the Premier and Prestige checking accounts are interest checking accounts, but the interest rates are very close to zero (0.01%).
There’s an online application link on the bank’s promotion page, but according to the bank CSR, you have to live within the bank’s market areas to be eligible to open an account. To see if you’re eligible, enter your zip code in the bank’s location page. First Citizens Bank branches are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Washington, DC.
First Citizens is a sizable bank with over 400 branches and with assets of over $20 billion. In the last five years, the bank has acquired from the FDIC several banks that have failed. Some of these include Temecula Valley Bank, Venture Bank, First Regional Bank and Sun American Bank.
The bank has an overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com of a B+ with a Texas ratio of 13.09% (above average) based on December 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of First Citizens Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934.