Bank Deals Column

Banks are paying good money for your deposits these days and we’ve collected the best of the best bank deals available today. It’s not unheard of for a bank to offer $100 or $150 (or more!) for new accounts. There are many deals to be made so don’t sign up without checking out these bank deals first! Many of the offers below are available nationally but review the terms and conditions just to be sure.


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Kick start your savings with goal-based accounts


Saving money is always one of the top New Year’s resolutions, but halfway through the year, you’ve usually kicked that goal to the curb.

Hard to believe, but some banks and credit unions actually want to help you make those resolutions stick, paying higher interest rates or bonuses if you stash money in your savings regularly.

Play it right and you could get an extra $250 added to your account or earn 2.50% APY on your savings.

What’s the catch? You typically need to contribute monthly to these goal-based savings accounts, and leave it there. No making withdrawals to buy Justin Timberlake concert tickets or the latest Coach handbag.

It’s tempting to “want to spend money to keep up with the Joneses,” says Brett Engel, manager of deposit products at Baxter Credit Union, or BCU as it is usually called, in Vernon Hills, Ill. But once you start setting money aside, “you get excited. You want to see more digits in your bank account.”
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Whether you’re a novice saver or seasoned investor here’s how to make up to 3% on CDs this summer


Interest rates are at record lows, but you’ve got to put your money somewhere.

With most savings accounts paying a pathetic 0.10% APY CDs remain a better paying alternative.

Believe it or not, you can earn as much as 3% on some local deals and up to 2.30% on nationally available certificates of deposit.

There are also some special types of CDs that help savers get started, provide the flexibility to make additional deposits or even benefit from a higher rate during the term of the investment.

Let’s start with where to find the best nationally available deals on three of the most popular terms – 5 years, 2 years and 1 year.
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Sovereign Bank: Goal Savings Account $125 Bonus

Soverign BankHere’s an interesting way to structure a bonus – you get more bonus money based on how much you “save” during the year. It is structured as an “interest bonus” and it’s based on your average daily balance increase in the account from the previous year. When it comes time to review your account, which is done annually, if your average daily balance has increased by $2500 then you are eligible for a $12.50 bonus. If it increases by over $25,000, then you qualify for the maximum $125 bonus.

You will also need to add one recurring monthly automatic transfer to this savings account from another account, which can be a checking account at the same bank or an external bank. Having an automatic transfer also avoids the monthly fee, which is $3.50. There is a $25 minimum opening balance.


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American Express Gift Card Promotion & Fee Waiver Codes

AMEX Gift CardMany moons ago, you could buy Presidential $1 dollar coins from the Mint using your credit card. This was a great way for card holder to basically get cash back or reward points for “free.” The only cost to you was that you’d have all these dollar coins that you’d have to spend or otherwise deposit back into your bank. Banks hated this. I purchased a batch so we could use them at our local bagel shop, farmer’s market, and other places where you could use credit. After doing this once, I realized how much of a pain it was and so when you couldn’t buy the coins anymore, I wasn’t that disappointed.

Well, it turns out there’s another way to spend without really spending – American Express gift cards. The downside to this strategy is that buying the cards comes with a fee. Normally that fee is $3.95 so you have to wait until there is some kind of promotion.

(click here to continue reading…)

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BB&T $125 Checking Account Promotional Bonus

BB&TIt’s been a while since I wrote about a nice bank deal but if you’re in the market for a brick and mortar bank, BB&T is offering a $125 checking account bonus for new account holders if you meet their criteria by May 31st, 2013. I tend not to write as often about similarly incentivized credit card offers because credit card applications have a negative impact on your credit score. Bank offers, however, don’t impact your credit score at all. However, since most require direct deposits, you might draw the ire of your favorite person in human resources. :)

To qualify, you need to open a checking account between now and May 31st, 2013 and:

  • Use their online bill payment service to initiate 3 payments (minimum $25) from your checking account within 90 days, or,
  • Enroll and receive 2 direct deposits (minimum $100) within 90 days of account opening.

According to a service representative I talked to, there is one geographic requirement (Erica). You need to live within the BB&T “service area” which includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Official Terms & Conditions:
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$25 ING Direct/CapitalOne 360 Signup Referral Promotion Bonus (Active Links)

$25 ING Direct/CapitalOne 360 New Account Promotion Self-ServeIf you’re looking for a referral to ING Direct (now known as CapitalOne 360) to earn the $25 referral bonus, you are at the right place!

Welcome to the self-service $25 ING Direct/CapitalOne 360 signup promotion center at Bargaineering. I’ve written on numerous occasions about how ING Direct/CapitalOne 360 will give you a $25 bonus for opening either a checking or savings account through a referral and depositing $250, so I’ve set up this page to allow readers to help themselves to the referrals (each will get $10 for each referral).

(click here to continue reading…)

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Sharebuilder BONUSJULY $200 Promotion Bonus ($10,000 Minimum Initial Deposit)

Do you have $10,000 lying around burning a hole in your pocket?

If you answered yes, you can take advantage of a Sharebuilder promotional offer that will put an extra $200 in your pocket. Readers on Fatwallet are reporting that they received a targeted email offering a $200 promotional bonus if you deposit $10,000 into a new account.

Ten grand is pretty steep but $200 is nothing to sneeze at either. That’s a 2% bonus, better than a savings account right now.

(click here to continue reading…)

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$10 American Express Prepaid Card Promotion

This promotion has expired.

If you’re in the mood to jump through a few small hoops to get a $10 gift card from American Express, you’re in luck. For July, American Express is running a promotion where you can get a $10 gift card from American Express when you get a new AMEX prepaid card and load it with $50. The promotion is that simple – order an American Express prepaid card, load it with $50 at the time you order it, and then wait six weeks to get your $10 gift card. Promotion ends July 31st, 2012.

There don’t appear to be any fees on the prepaid card to load or activate the card. You are permitted one free ATM withdrawal per month, then it’s $2 for each withdrawal after the first one. Also, shipping is free via USPS First Class mail. As for the impact on your credit, American Express doesn’t report any information to the credit bureaus so it will not hurt or help your history (faq).

Here are the terms & conditions of the offer:
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