Pacific Crest Bank in Washington State is offering a $125 bonus for opening its free checking account, initiating direct deposit and making 5 debit card purchases. The offer is listed in the bank's promotions page as of 3/25/2010. It's scheduled to last until 6/30/2010. Some important details of the promotion include:
- Open a new personal free checking account with a $100 minimum deposit
- Initiate direct deposit (payroll, social security or pension)
- $75 will be credited to your account within ten business days from date of first direct deposit
- $50 will be credited to your account after five debit card transactions
- Checking account must remain open (with direct deposit) for a minimum of six months, or the bonus will be debited
- Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS form 1099-INT
If you're also looking for a high-interest non-reward checking account, this bank offers 1.50% APY on its Interest Plus Checking (as of 3/25/2010). This does require a $10K minimum to avoid a $15/month fee. It's getting hard to find 1.50% APY these days on internet savings accounts.
Credit for this find goes to iBankDesign. A reader in that thread reported the following information from the bank when he inquired about this promotion:
"Our policy is that the direct deposit needs to be the full payroll amount, not just any amount. All our accounts are opened for customers who reside in Washington state. At this time, we do not offer online applications for our bank accounts. Washington state customers have to come in person to our Lynnwood, WA office to open their first account with us. Please let me know if you have any further questions."
Note, Lynnwood is in northern suburbs of Seattle.
The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are a little weak: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/09 data) and 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com (based on 9/30/09 data). The bank has been a FDIC member since 1998 (FDIC Certificate # 34585).