Bank of the West has again brought back its $150 checking account promotion. It looks like the same promotion they were offering last year. Just like the last one, there's also a $200 bonus, but that requires a checking account with high monthly service fees that can't be easily waived. These promotions are listed on Bank of the West's home page.
Details for the $150 bonus are listed in this Bank of the West promotions page. The checking account must be opened by 3/7/2014.
To qualify for the full $150 requires the following:
- Must open a new Easy Checking, Choice Interest Checking, or 55 Plus Checking account by 3/7/2014 with a minimum checking account opening deposit of $100.
- $100 for establishing a direct deposit of at least $250 (two or more direct deposits that add up to $250 do not qualify). Direct deposit must be payroll, Social Security, pension or other government benefits. The first direct deposit must be posted to the account by 5/30/2014.
- $50 for using a new Bank of the West Debit Card for 10 or more debit card purchases per month for each of the 2 full calendar months immediately following the month of account opening. Each purchase must be $3 or more. All required purchases must be posted by 5/30/2014.
According to the small print, customers who had a Bank of the West checking account as of 1/24/2014 or who received any consumer bonus from the Bank between 1/24/2013 and 6/19/2014 are not eligible.
$200 Checking Account Bonus
Bank of the West is also offering a $200 bonus, but this requires opening a Premier Relationship Checking Account. This account requires a minimum balance of $15,000 or a combined minimum balance of $25,000 to avoid a $30 monthly fee. This promotion also ends on 3/7/2014. Full details are listed in this promotions page.
Did You Receive the Bonus from Past Bank of the West Promotions?
In past Bank of the West promotions, did the bank pay you the bonus as promised? I asked that question in a poll last year, and 27% of those who responded said the bank did not pay the bonus and it was the bank’s fault. That’s a high percentage compared to other banks. Only 10% said this in PNC Bank’s survey. Please refer to my Bank of the West promotion payout poll to take the poll and to view the results.
Beware of Monthly Fees
If you decide to give this promotion a try, don't forget Bank of the West ended its free checking account in 2012 (see review). The Easy Checking has a $8 monthly ($10 with paper statements) unless you meet one of three requirements.
Hard Credit Pull and ChexSystems
Regarding a hard credit pull, I was told in 2010 that they don't do a hard credit inquiry in the application (only a soft pull). So you shouldn't have to worry about a ding to your credit score (unless you apply for the credit card). However, ChexSystems could cause an issue. One reader reported in 2010 that it's their policy to deny applications when ChexSystems report more than 6 inquiries in the previous 6 months.
Account Availability - Certain States Only
There's an online application, however, Bank of the West products are only offered to new customers in its market area. I thought this might have changed since I couldn’t find this mentioned in the small print. I called and found out that the limitation is still in effect. So if you don’t live in the bank’s market area, you still can’t open an account. Its market area is located in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Bank of the West Overview
Bank of the West is a large bank with over 700 branches in 19 states. It has $65 billion in assets. Its overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com is an A+ with a Texas ratio of 4.89% (excellent) based on September 2013 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Bank of the West for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 3514).