E*Trade has a generous promotion for its checking accounts. By setting up a checking account, doing a couple of online bill payments, and establishing a monthly direct deposit over $1,000, one can reap a reward of $175. This deal sounds better than the $20 offer from VirtualBank, $75 offer from NetBank and $150 offer from CitiBank.
Of course, always read fine prints before you try it out. A minimal of $2,000 is required for Value Checking after six months (and $5,000 for Complete Checking) to avoid monthly charge. Also, E*Trade does not pay interest on the minimal amount, and pay much lower interest than competition.
The fine prints:
1. The $175 offer applies to E*TRADE Bank Complete and Value checking accounts. To receive the $75 checking account offer, you must open a new E*TRADE Bank checking account with an initial deposit of $1,000 or more in new funds. The $75 will be credited within 30 days of account funding and will be reported as interest income. Offer limited to one new account bonus per customer every six months. Offer expires 6/30/04.
To receive the $25 bill pay offer, you must enroll in bill pay and pay two bills within 60 days of enrollment. The $25 will be credited within 30 days of the second qualifying payment and will be reported as interest income. Only new bill pay enrollments will qualify. Offer limited to one bill pay bonus per customer. Offer expires 6/30/04.
To receive the $75 direct deposit offer, you must establish and maintain for three consecutive months direct deposits totaling $1000 per month. Individual direct deposits in the amount of $200 or more will count toward the $1000 monthly total. The $75 bonus will be made in three equal payments of $25. Each payment will be credited within 30 days of the end of the month in which the qualifying direct deposit was made. Only new direct deposits will qualify. Offer limited to one direct deposit bonus per customer. Offer expires 6/30/04.
2. The Complete Checking minimum balance requirement of $5,000 and the Value Checking minimum balance requirement of $2,000 are waived for the first six statement cycles. Afterwards, a monthly service fee of $15 for Complete Checking and $10 for Value Checking will be charged for accounts that do not meet these minimum balance requirements.
(This post is part of PFBlog Product Review series. Check out more reviews here.)