A reader just mentioned some additional bonuses that he saw at a Georgia branch. These don't seem to be listed at the website. The first is a free iPod shuffle when you add direct deposit. Below are the details:
Direct deposit bonus of iPod Shuffle for direct deposit of Social Security, Payroll or Retirement only. Must have three consecutive direct deposits of $75 or more from the same source within 120 days of account opening date. One iPod Shuffle per tax reporting TIN. iPod Shuffle will be delivered to the current address on the new checking account 4 to 6 weeks after third consecutive direct deposit. Color of device may vary. Offer valid on new personal checking accounts opened September 1-30, 2007 only. 1099-INT may be issued. Personal accounts only.
Some additional bonuses include a 10% rebate on the first $250 purchased for groceries using their check card (only 1% afterwards), up to $10 when you turn in another bank's checks, $10 for registering for e-statements when you enroll in online banking and a $10 tell-a-friend referral.
Their Free & Easy Checking has some nice perks such as free checks for life, one free overdraft per year, free bill pay and no minimum balance requirements. One downside is that they don't reimburse fees when you use other bank's ATMs. Another downside is a very low savings account rate (0.20% to 0.50% depending on state), so if you do the $100 program, make sure you don't keep too much in the savings account.
BestBank is a division of GuarantyBank and has branches (many in grocery stores) in Georgia and Michigan. Guaranty Bank also has this same $100 bonus program (but may not have the iPod special). Guaranty Bank has branches in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota (see branch locator). The bank is FDIC insured (FDIC Certificate # 30003).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this special.