I wrote about it some time ago.
The idea started with one disgruntled customer of Bank of America, but apparently there so many of such disgruntled customers, that it actually become a real-life Nation-wide event.
If you go shopping for banking services today, you might find quite a few promotions, especially coming from Credit Unions, which would be happy to let any disgruntled ex-customer of another insensitive big bank join.
So here’s a roundup of the main options to transfer your account out of a big bank, and get some perks and bonuses you’re not used to while at it!
Here in the Bay Area many credit unions are preparing:
- Provident set up a special site with information about its benefits and offers a free check box, and they also offer a very high interest on their reward checking account (2.26% for the first $25K).
- Alliant offers a completely free interest bearing checking account (1% APR if you opt-out of paper statements and have a direct deposit),
- Meriwest offers a $50 statement credit for new credit card accounts (after spending $75 in the first 90 days, which you probably will if you ever use credit cards),
- Standford Credit Union will give $100 to each of the first 100 customers to open an account in their University branch or online on Nov. 5th, and have a direct deposit of $500 or more,
- Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union offers free rewards checking (including debit cards) including refunds for out-of-network ATM charges (limited per month),
And there are more. All the Bay Area credit unions I checked offer free checking account (but usually no free checks, though), free debit cards, free usage of large ATM networks, and bonuses.
If you don’t live in the Bay Area – check the credit unions where you live, I’m sure you’ll find similar, and better, deals.
But Credit Unions are not the only ones looking for the disappointed customers of the big banks. Online banks are also in the game:
- ING Direct gives $50 for new checking accounts (after 3 debit card transactions), their checking accounts have no fees including debit cards, and is interest bearing. I’ve already taken advantage of this promotion, but note that you need to open the account using the “Get Started” button on the site I linked.
- Schwab offers a free checking account which is interest-bearing and with ATM fees reimbursements,
- Capital One has a similar offer,
- Fidelity have an interesting offer where customers can choose 2 rewards (one of them being a $25 cashback each year, another is 5% cash-back on signature based debit card transactions) out of the list. Additional rewards can be bought with a $2 monthly fee. Paying $2 monthly to get $25 yearly is a 4% yield, so definitely worth choosing the $25 in addition to the 2 free rewards, not instead.
And of course there are the big banks themselves.
- Chase offers a $125 bonus for new checking customers who have $100 for the initial deposit, and set up a direct deposit. Check their site to learn how to avoid their fees, currently having direct deposit is enough.
So, enjoy your shopping, and let the banks work for you for a change!
Your Little Advisor