One issue to consider with any bank bonus is the possibility that the bank may decide not to honor the promotion. Sometimes it’s the customer’s fault for not meeting the qualifications. However, the problem is often due to the banks which for some reason decide not to honor the promotion for certain customers. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get the bank to pay after you call the bank and try to prove that you did in fact meet all the qualifications. That’s one reason you have to carefully document the promotion and your fulfillment of the promotion’s requirements. But that effort does cost you in time, so a bank that makes it hard to receive a promotion can be almost as bad as a bank that doesn’t pay at all.
I decided it would be useful to have a poll for each bank that regularly offers bonuses. The poll is for readers who have participated in past promotions of the bank. It asks if the bank has paid the bonus as promised. If they did pay, did you have to call to get the bank to pay? If they didn’t pay, was it the bank’s fault for not paying (You think you should have been paid since you met all of the bonus requirements.)
The results of this poll should help readers decide if future promotions are worthwhile. If many people report not receiving the bonus, you might not want to waste your time on the promotion. It’s common for readers to leave comments when the banks didn’t pay, but it’s less likely for those who did receive the bonus to comment. Hopefully, the poll will encourage both sides to respond. However, those who didn’t receive the bonuses usually have the most motivation to share their experiences.
In the last few years several readers have reported on this issue with Bank of the West. In February, one reader commented that:
when the time came they to pay me a sign up bonus, I received notification that my account is being closed, because I was out of their service area.
A year ago, another reader described his experience of trying to get Bank of the West to pay:
This bank did not honor their advertised promo for me after their phone rep said that I qualified. Their branch tellers said I qualified. But their district manager said I did not after I had jumped through so many hoops, she found some made up excuse.
In my March 2012 Bank of the West promotion two readers commented that the bank didn't pay out the bonus. However, one reader commented that he received the bonus in 2011. He warned that you cannot have a zero balance at the time when the bonus is to be credited. This is stated in the small print.
Many readers participated in Bank of the West's iPod touch promotion in 2010. Most reported receiving the iPod.
If you have participated in past Bank of the West promotions, please take the poll. If the poll shows that it is common for Bank of the West to refuse to pay, readers will know that future promotions may not be worth their time.