Avidia Bank is offering a nice cash bonus to new checking account customers. You can earn up to $200 for opening a checking account and for using some of its banking services. The full $200 can be earned without direct deposit. The qualifying checking accounts are the Smart Checking and the Value NOW Checking. The Smart Checking is a free checking account with no monthly service charges. Once the checking account is opened, you can earn $50 for each of the following services:
- Sign up for eStatements
- Have a Direct Deposit or other ACH Transaction
- Use your Avidia Bank debit card 5 times
- Enroll in Online Banking with Bill Pay and pay one bill.
Full details are listed in the bank’s offers page as of 4/14/2014. I don’t see an expiration date. I would assume it’s a limited time offer. Below is a copy of the offer’s small print:
New checking account customers only. Promotion applicable on Smart or Value NOW checking accounts only. Primary signer on the new checking account may not be or have been a primary or secondary signer on any personal checking account within the previous six (6) months.
You will earn $50 for each of the bonus requirements satisfied and the sum of the bonuses will be deposited into your checking account. The value of the bonus will be reported to the IRS on form 1099-misc. Offer can be withdrawn at any time. Your account must be open and in good standing on the date of deposit to qualify for this offer.
Checking Accounts Review
Out of the two checking accounts that qualify for this bonus, the Smart Checking is the best one in my opinion. It’s a free checking account so you don’t have to worry about maintaining a minimum balance to avoid monthly service fees. The minimum initial deposit is only $10, and the first set of checks is free.
The other qualifying checking account is the Value NOW Checking. Avidia describes this as their "high interest checking account with checking rewards." However, the interest rate is only 0.05% as of 4/14/2014. As is typical with an interest checking account, there are monthly service fees. However, the fee can be avoided by either maintaining an average daily balance of at least $1,000 or maintaining a recurring monthly ACH or direct deposit.
Avidia Bank also offers a reward checking account called eChecking that has a 1.06% APY for balances up to $25K as of 4/14/2014. Unfortunately, this account isn’t listed as one that will qualify for the checking account bonus.
Availability - Parts of MA
Update: Readers have reported being told that this promotion is limited to Massachusetts, and it may be further limited to certain zip codes in MA.
There’s an online application link for each checking account in the bank’s offers page.
The application allows people from any state to apply. I called the bank, and I was told people from any state should be eligible for this bonus. The customer service representatives didn’t make me feel 100% confident about the national availability. So if you are told something different or are rejected in the application process, please leave a comment.
Avidia is a sizable mutual community bank with over $1 billion in assets. It was formed in 2007 as a result of a merger between Hudson Savings Bank and Westborough Bank. Its headquarters is located in Hudson, Massachusetts, and it has branches in Hudson, Westborough, Clinton, Leominster, Marlborough, Northborough and Shrewsbury.
The bank has an overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com of a B+ with a Texas ratio of 11.76% (above average) based on December 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Avidia Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1985 (FDIC Certificate # 90215). Customers are insured by the FDIC to at least $250,000, and all deposits above the FDIC insurance amounts are insured by the DIF which is a private insurance fund that insures all deposits above FDIC limits at Massachusetts-chartered savings banks.