Univest Bonus and Online Checking Account Review


Univest Bank is offering a $100 bonus for opening one of its personal checking accounts with direct deposit. They offer two online checking accounts that qualify: Anytime Online Checking and Honestly Free Checking. The bonus is listed on the bank's home page, and in this promotions page as of 12/28/2011. Below is the offer's small print (emphasis is mine):

To qualify for the $100 bonus, you must open a new personal checking account with a deposit of new money (money not currently held by Univest National Bank and Trust Co.) and initial direct deposit of government or payroll checks within 90 calendar days of account opening. The bonus will be deposited into your new account within 30 business days after your initial direct deposit is posted to your account. Checking account must remain open for a minimum of 12 months or you will be required to pay a fee of $20. Limit one checking account-related reward per customer, per calendar year. May not be combined with any other offer. Offer available for a limited time and is subject to change without notice. Univest customers with a checking account do not qualify.

I called the bank today, and according to the CSR, this offer is available nationwide. I didn't get a clear answer regarding a hard credit pull (which can temporarily ding your credit score). A reader commented a few years ago that it's only a soft pull. Update 3/1/11: A reader just applied, and he reported there was a hard pull via Equifax.

Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this promotion.

Anytime Online Checking Review

Univest has been offering this Anytime Online Checking account via UnivestDirect for several years. The account used to pay a competitive interest rate, but that's not the case any longer. Currently, the yield is only 0.25% on all balances. On the plus side, it's still a free checking account with several nice internet banking features. Here are some of the noteworthy features as described at the Univest's Anytime Online Checking overview and in its FAQs:

  • $100 minimum initial deposit
  • No monthly service fees regardless of balance
  • Paper checks are allowed, but are not free. Allowed to order from other vendors.
  • e-statements only
  • ATM withdrawals done through the Allpoint ATM network are surcharge-free.
  • ACH bank-to-bank transfers service called Anytime Online Funds Transfers
  • Free person-to-person payment service (see my P2P payment service review)
  • Free online bill pay

They also offer an online savings account (both personal and business). Like the checking account, the savings accounts used to have competitive yields. The yields are now low (0.35% for the personal savings and 0.60% for the business savings as of 2/28/2011).

Univest has an overall health score at DepositAccounts of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 15.18% (average) based on December 2010 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Univest National Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 7759).

Other Bank Bonuses

To find other bonus deals at other banks and credit unions, please refer to the bank bonus page which has all of my recent bank bonus blog posts. There are also additional bonuses listed in the checking account deals forum.

Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
does ach count as direct deposit?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
To Anonymous #1, the direct deposit must be from work or other income or SS.

ACH does not count. I have an account with them and the direct deposit is from my work.

Their ACH is very slow to post incoming or outgoing funds.
Mike (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #3
They did a "hard pull"
J (anonymous)   |     |   Comment #4
I also had a hard pull to my Equifax report
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
got denied. dont apply for this account unless you have maximum credit.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
For the Anytime Online checking account, a $100 minimum opening deposit is required, however, the Honestly Free checking account (which I opened and which qualifies for the bonus) requires only a $1 opening deposit. The reason I opened the Honestly Free account is the first order of 120 checks for that account is free, whereas the first order of checks for the Anytime Online account is $25.50. During the application process for the Honestly Free account, it does indicate the $25.50 charge for checks, however, I called twice, speaking to two different CSR's, who verified that the checks charge for the Honestly Free account is waived.

Hope I made myself clear!
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I left Wells Fargo after the merger after 30 years of being with all the other mergers expecting to having a similar or better experience with Univest. They are friendly as long as you don't complain. Their online banking with Quicken downloads is a bust. It has been a nightmare especially since the updated program a few weeks ago. My data downloads into the wrong accounts. The website dumbs on a fairly regular basis. It is usually unavailable at night after 10 pm and all too often I can't download at all. At this point I have to log in separately each time I want to download an account. Since I have 5 accounts that is a pain and then each has to separately be imported to Quicken. VERY ANTIQUATED programming.
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