Posted by William Charles on November 28, 2018
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Published on November 28th, 2018 | by William Charles


[Southern CA, In Branch only] OneWest Bank $250 Checking Bonus + 250 Meals Donated To Charity

Offer at a glance

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • OneWest bank is offering a bonus of $250 when you open a new checking account and complete the requirements listed below, They will also donate 250 to Feeding America meals. Bonus requirements are:
    • Open a new Personal, Premium, or OneAccount Checking account with $1,000 minimum deposit in new money
    • Maintain an average balance of at least $1,000 in your checking account during the first 90 days following account funding
    • Set up and receive recurring direct deposits or ACH deposits totaling $650 or more per month for at least two consecutive months to the new checking account within 90 days of account opening
  • You can also vote for one of the Feeding America programs to receive a donation (each vote donates 10 meals).

The Fine Print

  • Bonus will be paid as a statement credit to the Checking Account within 30 days after the requirements above are met within the specified time frames. Checking Account must be open to receive the bonus and in good standing for at least six months after account opening. If Checking Account is closed by the customer or OneWest Bank within six months after opening, the value of the bonus may be deducted from account at closing.
  • Customers who enrolled in any other OneWest Bank checking reward or bonus offer in the past 12 months are not eligible for this offer.
  • $250 checking bonus offer is limited to one per customer and five per household.
  • Accounts cannot be opened in the name of a business. Employees of CIT Group Inc. or any of its affiliates, including CIT Bank, N.A. and its OneWest Bank division are not eligible for this offer.
  • The value of this offer may be reported to the IRS and the customer is responsible for any federal, state or local taxes.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Monthly Fees

Easiest account to keep fee free is personal checking, this has a $5 monthly fee and is waived if you do any of the following;

  • Receive eStatements or
  • Maintain an average monthly balance of $1,000 or more
  • Either be under 18 or over 55

Early Account Termination Fee

Account needs to be kept open for at least six months, otherwise the bonus is forfeit!

Our Verdict

Not sure what meals they are giving people, they say $1 = 10 meals. Either way the meals donation is just icing on the top of the $250 bonus you receive. Biggest bonus we’ve previously seen is $200, so this is an extra $50 + the meals donated. I do think this bonus is worth doing as it clearly states ACH will work for the direct deposit and keeping the account fee free is easy (just do eStatements). Only real problem is leaving $1,000 in the account for 90 days but that is manageable for most people. I’ll be adding this to our list of the best checking bonus.

Big thanks to reader, Ferris A who let us know. Learn how to find bonuses and contribute to the site here.

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Bummer that the branches are only in Southern California from Ventura to La Jolla.

> Availability:Any OneWest bank [branch locator]. All branches are in California

If you don’t mind, can you put “Southern California” ? Most won’t go 300 miles for a bank bonus.

Haha, my thoughts exactly. Wish there were a couple branches in NorCal :/

+1. California really needs to be broken up into 2 separate states

Anyone know if they are sensitive to number of chex inquiries?

They used to be. Reports scared me off previously. I may try this time as I’ve only opened 4 checking accounts in the past 4 months, a slower pace than normal.

Did a $200 bonus with them in 2017. Every month or so, the banker would call and see if I was interested in opening a savings account or cd.

Meh. YMMV on customer service experience IMO. My banker is really cool and responds to my inquiries via text; no salesy follow ups. If anyone is interested lmk and I’ll refer you to him.

Does anyone know of a credit freeze affects opening a bank account? Sorry if I should know this! 🙃

For me it has only affected me with Citi. First they said they couldn’t open my account because of my EX “credit report victim alert.” Then I unfroze EX and tried to open again, and they said the same thing about EQ. Going into branch and calling was useless due to their sheer incompetency.

This was for a targeted 50k AA offer so I’m waiting to get another before unfreezing everything and trying again.

Opened account for self and SO in branch today , fairly smooth process, they explain the bonus details and then just ask for Drivers License/ID to get started,Did not notice any issue with Chex as well.Branch Managers are very friendly and was in and out of the branch in 30 minutes.
You could deposit cash or Cheque for the $1000 initial deposit.Online banking was setup in branch itself , they ordered checkbook as well .
Would say excellent bonus and easy process.Will start ACH deposits now.

When you say you didn’t notice any issue with Chex, did you mean they didn’t appear to check it or they did but didn’t mention anything about it to you? How many Chex entries do you have?

Also, what branch did you go into?

I think their system did verify chex , it is written on the desk that all accounts will be checked against chex for fraud prevention but they don’t appear to be sensitive about it.I have almost 12-15 chex inquiries in last 12 months.
I went to two branches-One on valley view in buena park , other on south street in artesia(wife’s work was closer from there)

Thanks for the info.

the branch in city of Duarte is good…no waiting, in and out 30 minutes.
Check out for yourself if you are around San Gabriel Valley.

So the term stated that “Customers who enrolled in any other OneWest Bank checking reward or bonus offer in the past 12 months are not eligible for this offer.”

Anyone know if business checking bonus counts and disqualifies one to get this personal checking bonus?

Opened the account at my local branch today. Was straightforward with no issues. Banker was very nice, and even directly stated that ACH’s from other accounts are all that’s needed for the bonus. Said she’s been “doing a lot of these accounts.”

YES! this is a good one. I’m a bit of a novice at this. I learned:
$1000 deposit had to be made in branch at time of application.
ACH deposit requires that the transfer be initiated at the source entity.
Online access seems a bit quirky. It requires a username with numbers and their app, i.e. not browser, access from android phone. Personal checking login was not available via pc browser this morning (but was last night).

DP: was denied due to Chex on 12/8/18

Also mentions pulling a QualiFile score of 546/899.

How long should I wait before applying for another Chex sensitive bank account?

How many inquiries on your Chex? Did they say where the Qualifile score comes from, think that it is the Chex score but not sure? What branch did you apply at?

If you know that a particular bank is Chex sensitive, then would avoid them and go for the less sensitive banks, plenty of those around.

Don’t know if there is a general rule on how long to wait between trying again though would think 6-12 months could be a good idea.

Last I checked, I had around 15 inquiries. They said “also obtained your QualiFile score from this consumer reporting agency and used it in making our decision.” So Chex and QualiFile were factors. Downey, CA branch; It’s within Los Angeles County.

Will definitely wait a few months before doing any Chex sensitive banks.

The more I check online, it does appear that the Qualifile score is the Chexsystems score. If so, looks like your score at 546 is in the moderate range for banks to look at and take into consideration for approval.

Since it is also free once a year like the Chex report, I’m going to request my Chex score before applying to this bank to see where that stands (last year was 682). Others have reported havings lots of chex inquiries but getting approved so the score may be the more important factor than the number of inquiries.

DP: Father and I approved. 30 bank accounts in last 2 years, 22 in last year, maybe ~4 in last 3 months. Believe my 2-year Chex history shows c. 18 of those 30. Father’s stats lower by a factor of .66 in prolly all respects.

Drove out to Chino branch, IE resident. Chex was not directly mentioned, although the banker did pause at a point to get the account opening approved when considering my account. Did not mention getting account approved when opening for father.

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