My very first bank account was at a local credit union on Long Island, where I was a joint account holder with my Mom. My second bank account was at a PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, where a branch was only a few blocks away from where I was living. Back then, I opened an account for free because free student checking accounts were all the rage (maybe I got a t-shirt or a frisbee or something silly). Nowadays, if you have the cash and a direct deposit (read: job), you can get more than a t-shirt or a frisbee. You can get a hundred bucks.
From now until the end of February 2011, open a PNC Personal Checking Account, setup a direct deposit of at least $400 each month, and make 10 check card purchases within 60 days of account opening. $100 is deposited within 60 days of completing the requirements.
Their Free Checking Account has no minimum balance requirement, no monthly service charge, and they reimburse you for ATM fees at non-PNC ATMs if you have an average $2,000 monthly balance. You can find out more on their promotion page .
You can apply online but you must be a resident of DC, DE, FL, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MO, NJ, OH, PA, VA and WI. Expires February 28th, 2011 but could be extended.