AnchorBank is offering another checking account promotion with a bonus of up to $150. The bonus is larger than its summer promotion. This latest offer is listed in the bank's promotion page. It's scheduled to end on December 15, 2012.
The required activities include:
- $50 for setting up direct deposit
- $50 for enrolling in e-statements
- $50 for making three debit card purchases
The direct deposit, e-statement enrollment and debit card purchases must be completed within 60 days of account opening. Existing checking account customers are not eligible for the bonus. Another important note mentioned in the small print is that the "account must remain open for six months and should be utilized as the primary checking account." I've pasted the small print below:
To qualify for the full $150 you must, within 60 days of account opening: Open a new AnchorBank checking account with the appropriate minimum deposit of new money (money not currently held by AnchorBank). Have your first direct deposit post to the account, this includes payroll, pension, Social Security or other government benefits; monthly direct deposits must total $500 or more (qualifies for $50). Sign up for e-statements (qualifies for $50). Have three debit card purchases post to the account (qualifies for $50). The amount indicated above will be automatically deposited into your new account within six to eight weeks after the completion of each of the above events. This promotion is for new personal checking accounts only. If you already have an AnchorBank checking account, you are welcome to switch types or open a new account; however, only first checking accounts qualify for the $150 promotion. Not valid with other offers or on HSAs. Standard account qualifications apply. Account must remain open for six months and should be utilized as the primary checking account. $100 required to open all accounts except High Interest, which requires $5,000.
The free checking qualifies for this bonus. It has no monthly fee or minimum balance. However, a minimum $100 initial deposit is required. Also, bill pay is not free. It costs $4.95 per month for up to ten bills per month. Bill pay is free with Direct Checking, but this requires direct deposit to avoid a $9/month fee. Please refer to this AnchorBank checking page to compare the features.
In my post on last year's promotion, the reader Pondus provided the following comment about his experience with a previous AnchorBank promotion:
When I did this promo in the summer, Chex was pulled without any hard credit inquiries. The bank credited the portions of the bonus I qualified for promptly, even early, though the debit transactions were really small. The "primary checking account" use requirement, whatever that is, was explained to me by the teller as "don't just let the account sit for 6 months". I chose to maintain a DD of about $100 going there every two weeks and used all of it for billpay, which can be set up as free with DD and is not the abusively slow kind. The billpay also has a good database so I never had to fill out any biller addresses, even for things that Alliant wanted addresses filled out for. Anchor also sent me a batch of duplicate checks for free. Although the offer does not mention a 1099, I just got my 1099-INT for the full $100.
There's an online application. At the bottom of the application, the following limitation is mentioned:
Checking products are limited to residents of Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota.
I called the bank at 800-252-6246 to verify that all residents in these 4 states can qualify for this promotion. According to the CSR, they can. However, I'm still not 100% sure about this. Last year two readers reported being told by AnchorBank CSRs that only Wisconsin residents near AnchorBank branches could qualify for the promotion. If you don't live in Wisconsin near an AnchorBank branch, you may want to confirm with the bank that you can qualify for this promotion before applying online.
AnchorBank is a sizable bank with over 50 offices throughout Wisconsin including the cities of Madison, Milwaukee and Appleton.
AnchorBank continues to be in poor financial shape. The bank has been operating under an OTS Prompt Correction Action Directive since August 2010. The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 1 star (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 128.53% (poor) based on June 2012 data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1938 (FDIC Certificate # 29979).
The main concern for those who apply for this bonus is if the bank is closed by regulators before the bonus is credited. There's no issue about losing money if you keep under $250K in deposits. However, the bonus could be at risk. The bank that acquires a failed bank is not obligated to honor bonuses. That happened when ING DIRECT assumed NetBank accounts in 2007.
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.