National City is offering an online promotion that gives you $150 when you open a new personal checking account with direct deposit. Now that my major savings goal for a down payment is finished, I will be saving for several smaller goals. Additionally, I have several monthly payments to make, which might be easier to keep track of with separate savings accounts. And who can’t use an extra $150.
There are a few rules and requirements to qualify for the $150.
- Open a new personal checking account prior to October 22, 2008
- Account must be funded by $50 not currently deposited
- Have a direct deposit to your checking account of $250 or more within 60 days of opening the account
- Receive a Visa CheckCard issued within 60 days of opening the account
- One bonus per household without a pre-existing National City checking account
- $150 bones will be credited within 60 days of meeting the criteria
Checking Account Options
National City has five available checking account options. Three of them have monthly fees that require account values of either $10,000 or $1,500 (depending on the account) to avoid the fees. I can’t guarantee that I will maintain either of these levels. That leaves me with either the free checking or free checking plus accounts. All National City checking accounts have the following free features:
- Unlimited transactions
- Visa CheckCard
- Online banking and bill payment
- Online statements
- Check safekeeping
- Online check images
- Telephone banking
- Switch service
The free checking and free checking plus accounts also have the following benefits:
- Free unlimited use of National City ATMs
- No minimum balance
- No maintenance fees
- A rewards points system for everyday banking
- Free switch service to painlessly switch accounts
It appears as though there are two major differences between the free checking and free checking plus. Free checking plus provides free checks on select styles with one box per order. Also, the free checking plus account offers free unlimited use of non-National City ATMs as long as you do one of the following: 1) direct deposit of your paycheck, 2) online bill payment or 3) ACH payment. As long as both have no fees, I might as well go with the one with more options.
The process for setting up the account is extremely simple. I clicked on the apply now button for the free checking plus account from the promotion page. The first step is confirming the account selected is corrected. Second, you fill out personal information, which requires your SSN and driver’s license or state ID. Next, you download a bunch of account information and terms and save it somewhere on your computer. A confirmation of your identity is done using the standard personal information question session where they ask about cars, mortgages, addresses and relatives. Finally, you have to decide on a method to fund your account with a minimum of $50. The options are a transfer from an existing National City account, mailing a check or at a branch. I selected at a branch as there is one very close to my condo.
My account application is pending, most likely because I am funding at a branch. An account specialist will contact me within 1-2 business days.
Opening the account took about ten minutes, which is not a lot of time to spend while making $150. I will set up a split direct deposit with HR so that I deposit the minimum required to receive the $150. So far I have been pleased with the ease of access and availability of information on the National City website. In the upcoming months I’m sure I will discover if I enjoy this bank more than my current brick and mortar bank, Harris.