Santander Bank is offering a good checking account deal. Santander Bank used to be Sovereign Bank. The name was changed last year. The checking account is called extra20 checking. Full details are listed this Santander Bank’s extra20 page. Thanks to DA member marcal who first mentioned this deal in the DA forum last year. The extra20 checking rewards customers with up to $20 a month when the customer does the following activities:
- $10 for direct deposit of at least $1,500 per month
- $10 for paying at least 2 bills through the BillPay tab of online banking
If the above activities are done, a $20 credit is made to your extra20 savings account each month. One important thing to note is that these bonuses will be reported as interest so it’ll be taxed just like interest. Also, there’s a limit of one extra20 checking account per person.
One important downside with the extra20 checking is the potential monthly fee. There’s a $10 monthly fee, but this can be waived with $1,500 or more in total direct deposits to the checking account during the statement period.
It appears that a $1,500 ACH transfer into your extra20 checking account that you initiate from another bank will count as a direct deposit. Several FW members have reported that their ACH transfers have counted. Typically, banks don’t carefully verify that a direct deposit is really an ACH deposit from an employer rather than a bank-to-bank transfer. However, this isn’t always the case, and bank policies can change. So be aware that there might be some risk.
Earning $240 per year isn’t a lot but it would take a $12,000 balance in an account that pays 2% to earn that much in interest. So from that point of view, it’s a good deal. The extra20 checking doesn’t earn interest so you won’t want to keep a large balance in this account. This can easily be done by using ACH transfers to withdraw money.
I was told by a customer service rep that people in any state are eligible to open accounts. This can be done online or by phone.
You can also open at a branch. Santander Bank branches are located in the Northeast in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
Santander Bank is headquartered in Boston and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Spanish Santander Group. It’s one of the top 25 retail banks in the U.S. with over 700 branches in the Northeast.
The bank has an overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com of a B+ with a Texas ratio of 8.10% (excellent) based on September 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Santander Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1938 (FDIC Certificate # 29950).