Most all of the large banks have backtracked from the debit card fees. It's clear they didn't anticipate all of the customer anger and the bad publicity. That anger led to the creation of Bank Transfer Day which is a Facebook-driven campaign urging people to close their accounts at the megabanks and move their money to credit unions by November 5th. Many credit unions have jumped on the Bank-Transfer-Day bandwagon, and some are offering checking account bonuses. If your main concern is a long-term relationship, these bonuses should be just one of many factors to consider. I described several other credit union features to consider in my post Finding the Best Free Checking Accounts at the Best Credit Unions.
Below is a list of Bank-Transfer-Day specials that I've found at some credit union websites. Some of these promotions are available for all of November. If you know of others, please leave a comment.
- Palo Alto, CA - Stanford Federal Credit Union is offering $100 for the first 100 people who open a checking account with a $500 direct deposit on November 5th at the credit union's University branch or online. They make it easy to join with an association membership.
- Saginaw, MI - Wanigas Credit Union is advertising on their home page their November 5th specials. You can earn $50 when you open a new checking account with three services. It's called the Shred Your Bank Card promotion. Credit union membership is open to residents in one of several Michigan counties.
- Philadelphia, PA - TruMark Financial Credit Union is having special hours for November 5th, but its promotion will last through November. According to the promo page, "Open a new checking account with a free Visa debit card by Nov. 30 and get a $50 gift card with your 7,700 CURewards points." Membership is open to residents in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
- Austin, TX - A+ Credit Union is offering a $50 bonus for opening a checking account with direct deposit by November 5th. They also have a $20 refer-a-friend bonus. A+ Credit Union was primarily for those involved in the Austin area schools, but they now make it easy to join with an association membership.
- Seattle, WA - Verity Credit Union is promoting its checking account for Bank Transfer Day in which you can earn up to $75 ($25 for direct deposit, $25 for using the debit card and $25 for referring a friend). They have a special Bank Transfer Day page with the details. Membership is open to residents in Washington State.
- Tennessee - First Tennessee Bank is the oddball on this list. It's not megabank, but with over $24 billion in assets, it's not really a community bank. Nevertheless, it's offering the largest bonus. You can earn up to $300 for opening a checking account and a savings account on November 5th. If you can't make it to a branch on November 5th, you can still get $200. As I described in my First Tennessee Bank promo review these are not free accounts. The bank had added a debit card fee, but it canceled the fee this week.
Other Credit Union and Bank Bonuses
We have a new 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.