Bank Deals 
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Bank of America $75 MyAccess Checking Incentive Bonus

Bank of AmericaThere’s a “special limited-time online offer” for Bank of America credit card holders (I put that in quotes because these promotions come and go all the time) when they open a MyAccess Checking account online. It’s an online only offer of $75 when you open a new MyAccess Checking account and make a qualifying deposit. A qualifying deposit is one that is at least $125 made within 30 days of opening the account. There is no direct deposit requirement for this bonus, though it’s a way to avoid the maintenance fee (the other way is maintaining a balance, more on that in the fine print section).

The offer code for this promotion is CH75OL1 and you can find out more on their promotion page.

Some of the other fine print:
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 Bank Deals 
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Bank of America MyAccess Checking $75 Promotion CH75OL1

Bank of AmericaIf you have a Bank of America credit card and are thinking about opening a checking account with Bank of America, then this $75 promotion on their MyAccess Checking account may be help you overcome inertia. The offer is pretty straightforward, open a bank account online through this link, fund it with at least $125 in 30 days and you’ll receive $75 in 90 days.

There is no direct deposit or check card purchase requirements. The account has no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum balance, and offers no interest. You must be a new checking account customer and the limit is one $75 incentive bonus per 6 months. No expiration date given.

Doesn’t get any easier than this. T&C’s after the jump.

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 Banking 
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Best Free Checking Accounts

Blank CheckbookIf you were to build your personal finances from the ground up, the checking account would be the first “product” you’d pick. If you’ve ever drawn your financial network map, you’ll remember that the checking account is the spoke in your primarily hub-and-spoke layout. Your paycheck is deposited into your checking account, your savings accounts are linked to your checking account, and when it’s time to pay credit cards or the mortgage, chances are the money comes from your checking account.

So if you were to rebuild your personal finances or build it from scratch, the first step is finding a checking account that fits your needs. For me, I need a checking account to be free, have plenty of ATMs, and no minimum balance. If your bank doesn’t offer that as a minimum, I’d find one that does.

So how do you find the best free checking account?

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 Personal Finance 
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Opt Out of Credit Card Internal Marketing

Junk mail only!We recently received a new Privacy Notice from Citi for 2009, which looked a lot like this online form, and never really appreciated how marketing happens behind the scenes. I implicitly understood that there was some marketing involved but when it’s all spelled out in a privacy document it can be a little disconcerting because the document pretty much covers every potential type of marketing, not the ones they actually do.

For example, they talk about sharing information with other companies in the Citigroup family thought I’ve never received a solicitation from another company at Citi. They also talk about third party nonaffiliated companies, but I’ve also never received anything there (probably because I opt out of junk mail as part of our do it yourself identity theft protection)

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 Banking 
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Highest Savings Account Rates

If you have fifteen minutes, you can be earning more interest on your savings account. Many Bargaineering.com readers are familiar with high yield savings accounts, so for the seasoned veterans you won’t get much out of this post (maybe this one on reward checking accounts is new to you?). In recent weeks, there’s been a huge influx of new readership and I wanted to take the time to introduce a concept that has been all the rage in personal finance – high yield savings accounts.

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 Banking 
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How to Minimize Bank Account Fees

Bloody Bank Fee MoneyBanks used to make their money by taking customer deposits and lending it out at a higher interest rate. Along the way, they discovered they could siphon off a little bit here or there in the form of “fees” cleverly disguised as “convenience” charges.

Bankrate does annual fee surveys of what banks charge and the fee amounts are absolutely astounding. Overdraft or nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees average $29.58, ATM surcharges average $2.22, and the average monthly service charge on a checking account is around $12.55. That adds up to billions of earnings for banks.

Let’s talk about how to minimize these fees.

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 Insurance 
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Beware Bank-paid Complimentary AD&D Insurance

Bank of America BranchI remember a few years ago when credit card companies would send out $5 checks to customers. The catch with the $5 check was that it enrolled you in some sort of service, usually identity theft or employment related, that was free for a month. After a month, there was a monthly fee that was either flat, in the case of the identity theft service, or a percentage of your balance, in the case of the employment related service.

Last week, I received two letters from two banks reminding me of their complimentary offer of Accidental Death & Dismemberment AD&D insurance. It’s clear in both cases they’re marketing promotions trying to get you to buy AD&D insurance from their partners. However, the two offers are very different in how they approach the customer.

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 Credit 
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Happiest Credit Cards

Liz Pulliam Weston recently published an article summarizing and analyzing J.D. Power and Associates 2008 survey of credit card user happiness. They surveyed 8,000 users on five factors: interaction with the company, billing and payment processes, fees and rates, reward programs, and benefits and services.

I was a little surprised to see that the highest score was 783 out of 1,000 for American Express, with Discover taking second with 751. Everyone else surveyed scored less than the industry average of 724!

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