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

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[Expired][CA only] Fremont Bank $150-$500 Checking Promotion, Direct Deposit Not Required

This bonus has expired, view more Fremont bank bonuses here or the best checking bonuses here.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $500
  • Availability: Must be a Californian resident
  • Direct deposit required: None
  • Additional requirements: See below
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
  • ChexSystems: Unknown, ChexSystems sensitive
  • Credit card funding: $100
  • Monthly fees: $18+, avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: $50, six months
  • Household limit: One
  • Expiration date: July 31st, 2018 August 15th, 2018

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Fremont Bank is offering a bonus of $150 or $500 for opening a new checking account.
    • $150 bonus when you open a new Freedom checking account with the promo code 150Freedom and make 5 debit card purchases of at least $5 within 45 days of account opening
    • $500 bonus when you open a new Premier checking account with the promo code Premier500 and maintain a minimum daily balance of $50,000 for 90 consecutive days

The Fine Print

$150 bonus:

  • Offer valid for new Fremont Bank personal checking clients only. Clients who already have a personal checking account with Fremont Bank as a primary or secondary account holder are not eligible for this promotion. The client must not have closed a personal checking account within 180 days of the promotion start date (on or after May 01, 2018). The primary account holder must be 18 years or older at the time of account opening. Offer available only to legal U.S. residents with a U.S. address in California.
  • Account bonus is limited to one per household.
  • The offer is non-transferable and may not be combined with any other offers.
  • Offer subject to change and may be discontinued at any time. Offer available to accounts opened online only and does not apply to accounts opened in a branch.
  • To participate in the promotion, 1) open a new Freedom Checking account online using promo code 150Freedom between May 01, 2018 and Jul 31, 2018 and 2) Make 5 or more qualifying debit card transactions*** within 45 days of account opening.
  • The account bonus will be credited to the new Freedom Checking account within 30 days from the end of the month after qualifying debit card transactions are made. “150 Freedom Bonus Offer” will appear on the checking account statement when the bonus is credit to the account.
  • The new account must be open and in good standing at the time the bonus is credited to the account. The account bonus will be forfeited if the account is closed before the bonus is posted to the account.
  • If the account is closed within six (6) months of opening an account closure fee may be charged, see Deposit Account Agreement Book for more information.
  • Bonus is considered interest and will be reported to the IRS on Form 1099-INT, as required by applicable law. Client is responsible for any taxes.

$300 bonus:

  • Offer valid for new Fremont Bank personal checking clients only. Clients who already have a personal checking account with Fremont Bank as a primary or secondary account holder are not eligible for this promotion.The client must not have closed a personal checking account within 180 days of the promotion start date (on or after May 01, 2018). The primary account holder must be 18 years or older at the time of account opening. Offer available only to legal U.S. residents with a U.S. address in California. Account bonus is limited to one per household. The offer is non-transferable and may not be combined with any other offers. Offer subject to change and may be discontinued at any time. Offer available to accounts opened online only and does not apply to accounts opened in a branch.
  • To participate in the promotion, 1) open a new Premier Checking account online using promo code “Premier500” between May 01, 2018 and Jul 31, 2018 and 2) Maintain a minimum daily balance of $50,000 or $50,000 with combined balance option for 90 consecutive days6.
  • The account bonus will be credited to the new Premier Checking account within 30 days from the end of the month after 90 day minimum daily balance requirement has been met. “Premier 500 Bonus Offer” will appear on the checking account statement when the bonus is credit to the account. The new account must be open and in good standing at the time the bonus is credited to the account. The account bonus will be forfeited if the account is closed before the bonus is posted to the account. If the account is closed within six (6) months of opening an account closure fee may be charged, see Deposit Account Agreement Book for more information. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported to the IRS on Form 1099-INT, as required by applicable law. Client is responsible for any taxes.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Monthly Fees

Freedom Checking

This account has a $18 monthly fee (plus $2 paper statement fee). This is waived if you do any of the following:

  • Recurring $500 direct deposit to your checking account or
  • $2,500 minimum daily balance or $5,000 with Combined Balance Option or
  • Automatic Loan Payment to an existing Fremont Bank personal mortgage loan or Home Equity Line of Credit.

Premier Checking

This account has a $29 monthly fee (plus $2 paper statement fee). This is waived if you do any of the following:

  • Minimum daily balance of $50,000 or
  • $50,000 with Combined Balance Option

Early Account Termination Fee

According to the fee schedule there is an early account termination of $50 if closed within six months of account opening.

Our Verdict

You’d need to keep $50,000 deposited for six months for the $500 bonus. If you put that same amount into a 2% APY account you’d earn $500 as well so it’s basically not really a bonus. The $150 bonus is worth doing though. It’s not the easiest account to keep fee free, but at least the bonus itself doesn’t require a direct deposit. If it’s a soft pull we will be adding this to our best checking bonus page. Just keep in mind they are ChexSystems sensitive so a lot of readers will be denied.

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

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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britchurner
britchurner

They are pretty Chex sensitive FYI. 10 new accounts this year, got declined. No hard pull.

Andrew
Andrew

Same. Applied earlier this week. Got the declined email yesterday. About 6 accounts in 2 months for me. No hard pull.

Enrico
Enrico

I didn’t get denied with 5 in 2 months, 3 in one month.

Champ
Champ

I have similar stats. Is there any downside to applying with the he slim chance of hoping to get approved? If it’s no hard pull, I’m trying to see what I have to lose.

britchurner
britchurner

Going to piggy back off this- I got a decline email a few days ago, but then got a call today from a banker who said that after manual review they were gonna try approve me. They did ask about why I had so many Chex inquiries, I was honest and said it made more sense to chase incentive bonuses than put all my money in a low yield interest savings account.

Enrico
Enrico

Did you contact them back? A few mentioned they got denied at first and then approved.

Grant

I got to the credit card funding page and it says “minimum deposit: $100.00”. I tried to process a charge of $1,000 on my credit card, but it said “Credit/Debit Card Funding should not exceed $100.” After submitting the application, I got a pending decision. Let’s see what happens.

Rene
Rene

Same. The application went to pending.

SS
SS

I tried to open an account half a year ago and there was no credit card funding option! Grant, thanks for this update!

MoreSun
MoreSun

Popped up on r/churning a few days ago for bank bonuses. I applied and was declined the next day, no reason given. Others were declined and Chex was cited. I have like 30 on my Chex so I suspect that was my decline as well.

Francesco
Francesco

“You’d need to keep $50,000 deposited for six months for the $500 bonus.” The $50K balance requirement is for 3 months, then I guess one might withdraw the money and pay $93 in fees across the remaining 3 months. Net bonus would be $407 in 6 months with cash locked in for just 3 months though, which is a 3.25% APR.

Radster
Radster

Yeah. Or said another way, if you account for lost opportunity elsewhere at 2% APY for 3 mo that’s another -$250. So net bonus is actually $157. Def not worth it (over the $150 bonus), no matter how you dice it.

Enrico
Enrico

In the fine print for the debit transaction it says this: “***A qualifying debit card transaction is defined as a POS (point-of-sale) purchase transaction using your PIN (Personal Identification Number), purchases you sign for, internet, phone and mail order purchases, small dollar purchases that do not require a signature or PIN greater than $5, and bill payments where payee processes the transaction as a credit transaction. Transactions that do not qualify include ATM transactions, cash transactions and non-U.S., purchases.”

It is a bit confusing does that mean the debit transactions need to be more than $5?

Sexy_kitten7
Sexy_kitten7

No it does not mean $5+ AFAICT. They list 5 qualifying transaction types (one of which is “small dollar purchases that do not require a signature or PIN greater than $5”) followed by 3 non-qualifying transaction types. For example, a 50c Amazon load would qualify as an “internet, phone and mail order purchase.” Of course, you could do $5 to be safe but it’s not required.

Champ
Champ

Anyone else notice in terms on the last line:
“All accounts subject to approval and applicable fees. Offers can be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice. New personal checking account clients only; existing clients not eligible for this offer. One account bonus per clients and account. Consumer accounts only. Offer expires 06/30/2018.”

However, above that has:
“To participate in the promotion, 1) open a new Freedom Checking account online using promo code 150Freedom between May 01, 2018 and Jul 31, 2018 and 2) Make 5 or more qualifying debit card transactions*** within 45 days of account opening.”

I don’t really want to park $2500 for 6 months, so I’ll probably do the $500 direct deposit every paycheck, then transfer the funds to my hub/main back account.

kirk
kirk

hmm good catch! most likely they just forgot to changed it from a previous offer.

Nate
Nate

Any DPs on if direct deposit can be from another bank account?

kirk
kirk

none unfortunately.
with a small bank like this one, i always make sure to use a real work dd. if you don’t have access to one, i guess you could try fidelity or schwab. no DPs for these so highly ymmv! brokerage bank ach seems to code ‘better’ than other banks for ‘dd’. also some have had luck with rebate payouts. good luck!

kirk
kirk

last day tomorrow!

app went to pending. CA resident.
some things i’ve noticed:
– promo code was pre-populated but i still pasted it just to make sure.
– only 3 id questions. none of those ‘none of the above’ answers, at least for me. lol
– i funded with the minimum $100. not sure if more would’ve worked. charged right away after submitting app (Alliant cc).
– besides the freedom checking, i also had to make sure i selected/checked the addt’l services – mobile banking, online banking and debit card (!). *shady imo as you need the debit card to complete the requirement.
– here’s another shady thing, i opted out of overdraft but after submitting the app, it returned the pending notice and that the overdraft authorization was changed to opt-in!!! hmmm not sure what to think about it. so far no hard pull though. i always screencap all my apps so if they ‘pull’ one on me, i guess i have that as a resort. maybe, who knows. ‘will update.

Andrew R.
Andrew R.

So I signed up for this account on July 26, 2018. I received an email titled “Account Declined Notice” on July 27, 2018. Figured as much since I have about 8 accounts opened in the last 3 months. No big deal.

Today I received a call from a Fremont customer service rep who wanted to confirm that I applied and find out how I heard about the bonus offer. She then “pushed my account to approval.”

So if you got a declination email don’t lose hope.

Jim
Jim

Great to hear, thanks for sharing. May I ask if you were directed to call a specific person or department?

MoreSun
MoreSun

Was declined a few days ago and I just got a call from them requesting I call them. Don’t have time tonight but maybe there’s still hope?

MoreSun
MoreSun

I called them back and got approved! She asked some basic q’s, like where did I hear about them (from a friend). Asked some q’s to set up my profile and then said the funding had been deleted but we could do an ach. I didn’t push for cc funding (not comfortable it won’t code as a cash advance) & gave her my funding bank. She said it won’t be approved tonight but it will go in for approval tomorrow & she will call me with my account number.

She took a little time to talk about their other products & asked if I’d be interested in one free hour of financial consulting. Cross selling seems to be their bread & butter here, think US Bank “relationship bank”. Mentioned home equity loans, commercial banking, etc.

So, if my approval comes through tomorrow they are NOT Chex sensitive but you have to talk to a person & the cc funding may or may not be possible after a few days.

Jim
Jim

Congrats, thanks for sharing. May I ask if you were directed to call a specific person or department?

With the deadline looming and reading about folks getting declined online, I called up a few local branches to see about opening in person. Only managed to get ahold of one branch, and was told the promo was not available in-person, so it may just be online only.

I’ll give it a few days to see if the offer is extended before seeing about applying.

MoreSun
MoreSun

I’d try, or at minimum watch for more DPs like mine in the next day or two here and on the r/churning bank account bonus thread. The most you have to lose is a hit to Chex which is basically nothing. I’ll update if it opens as expected tomorrow.

MoreSun
MoreSun

Banker said she’d call yesterday with my new account info but I didn’t hear anything from her and funding has not been pulled from my funding account yet.

Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson

Just checked out the page for this deal today, looks like the offer has been extended to 8/15. Will definitely be applying tomorrow when I get the chance…

Jim
Jim

Hmm, has it changed on the Fremont Bank offer page?

Footnote details still state: “To participate in the promotion, 1) open a new Freedom Checking account online using promo code 150Freedom between May 01, 2018 and Jul 31, 2018”

Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson

Wierd, it looks like it reverted back to a previous version. I called this morning and spoke to a representative named Melanie who confirmed the promo has been extended. Submitted my application as soon as I got off the phone, and it looks like it is in a pending state.

Jim
Jim

Thanks.

Went ahead and applied, to pending, as well.

MoreSun
MoreSun

After an initial denial and then they called me a few days later my account is opened. I just missed the call from my banker who I’ll have to call back to get my account number. w00t!

kirk
kirk

quick question, do they call with an ‘Unknown’ number? got 2 calls last night around 6:30pm PST. i did not answer.

i’m still waiting for ANY update from my pending app last july 30. thanks!

MoreSun
MoreSun

No, the number was clearly displayed. Googling showed me it was Hayward. I have seen Chase call from an unknown number, we hung up and called recon in that case because I wasn’t going to do security verification with an unknown number.

kirk
kirk

thanks for the quick reply.

hmm i’m getting antsy. i just might give them a call soon.

tikachu
tikachu

anyone still in a pending state? I applied on 7/29

Enrico
Enrico

Yes. I called them yesterday and they said they have a backlog and someone will call in the next day or two.

kirk
kirk

dunno if it helped my cause but i sent them an email (OnlineBanking@fremontbank.com) inquiring about my 7/30 app before 9am pst today and i received a call just a few minutes ago. took about 15 minutes verifying, kyc q’s, etc. my account is now open. yay! she generated it while i was on the phone with her. hmm i have a feeling they don’t really do an online instant approval. i haven’t seen any dp.

Enrico
Enrico

It may have helped me. But they didn’t call back until several hours when I sent the email. I think It certainly doesn’t hurt to email and/or call just to make sure they dont drop the ball.

Grant

I got a call last night from Fremont Bank. Took about 15 minutes to answer questions and set up the account. The numbers come from Hayward, CA and look like 510-670-2504 or 510-670-2508.

For the 5 debit card transactions, the rep said that to be safe, they should be $5 or more, in-store, and use a PIN. She also said she would check-in with me in a few weeks to see how everything was going.

Enrico
Enrico

The rep I had on the phone also said to have at least $5 per transaction but said it can be any kind of card transaction (except the usual, like cash with drawl etc.), so doesn’t have to be in-store.

Grant

I honestly think any $5+ transaction would work, whether in store or online, with or without PIN. We will see what type of transactions work soon enough.

kirk
kirk

i will be doing the usual go-to a-z reloads. only $5.xx this time. :p basing from the fine print, i think it should work.

Enrico
Enrico

Fremont Bank does not seem to be very Chex Sensitive, or not as much as some Credit Unions. I had no concern for multiple accounts opened in the past few weeks when the rep called me.

The Overdraft on the checking account is default/automatic (and goes active after 30days) and when you want to have it removed you need to go in a branch office.
I did opt out on overdraft on the debit card.

The rep told me they don’t do credit hard pulls even with the overdraft protection.

Jim
Jim

Looks like the bonus offers weren’t extended past August 15. Any references to the offer details/language were removed:

https://www.fremontbank.com/freedom-checking

Justin
Justin

it appears this promo has expired. don’t see it on the page anymore.

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