Update 4/23/2012: It appears the bank ended this promotion early. It's no longer listed on the bank's website.
The Amazon Kindle Fire is becoming a common bonus for checking accounts. The latest one is from Continental Bank with branches in the Philly area. To receive a free Kindle Fire requires that a new checking account be opened by May 31, 2012, direct deposit of $500 be established, and 3 online bill payments be made. A lesser value Kindle Reader can be earned with only direct deposit or 3 online bill payments. The bonus is mentioned on the bank's front page and in this promotion page.
Below is the offer's small print:
Free Kindle Fire® offer valid when opening a new checking account by May 31, 2012 establishing a direct deposit of $500 per month within 60 days of account opening AND enrolling in online banking with bill pay and making three bill payments within 60 days of account opening. Free Kindle Reader® offer valid when opening a new checking account by May 31, 2012 establishing a direct deposit of $500 per month within 60 days of account opening OR enrolling in online banking with bill pay and making three bill payments within 60 days of account opening. Payments to yourself do not qualify for bill pay requirement. Customer will receive gift 6 to 8 weeks after meeting all of the requirements. Limit one gift per customer. We reserve the right to substitute an item of equal value. Offer may be withdrawn without notice. A 1099 may be issued. Member FDIC.
As is common with checking bonuses, the bank will report the value of the gift on a 1099. At least the Kindle value is fairly standard. You don't want the bank to overvalue a gift on a 1099. That will cost you more in taxes.
Free & Reward Checking
In addition to a plain free checking account (called My Choice Free Checking), the bank offers a free reward checking account (called My Choice Interest Checking). The top rate is low for reward checking (1.01% APY for up to $25K as of 3/27/2012). On the positive side, there are unlimited ATM surcharge rebates. To qualify for the top rate and the ATM fee rebates, monthly requirements must be met (10 debit card purchases, 1 ACH or online bill payment, and e-statements). More details on these checking accounts are listed in the checking comparison table.
There's an online application, but according to the CSR, a new customer must come into a branch to sign the account agreement. Also, I was told that they only accept applications from PA residents.
Continental Bank branches are located in Philadelphia and in several cities in its suburbs.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 3 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 18.58% (average) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Continental Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2005 (FDIC Certificate # 58061).
Other Bank Bonuses
If you are looking for a free Kindle Fire and you don't live in PA, take a look at the Kindle promo at Washington Federal which is available to people in several western states.
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.