Posted by William Charles on April 13, 2019
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Published on April 13th, 2019 | by William Charles


[Expired] [CA only] San Mateo Credit Union $100 Checking Bonus – Direct Deposit Not Required

Deal has expired, view more bank account bonuses by clicking here.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $100
  • Availability: You are eligible for membership in SMCU if you live, work, worship, or attend school in San Mateo County, the City of Palo Alto, or certain areas of San Francisco
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: 10 or more debit card transactions totaling $100+ in the first full calendar month
  • Hard/soft pull: Looks to be soft, hard pull in branch
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: Up to $500
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Early account termination fee: Unknown
  • Household limit: One per mailing address
  • Expiration date: May 31st, 2019

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Open a new checking account with San Mateo Credit Union and receive a bonus of $100 when you meet the following requirements:
    • Make 10+ debit card purchases and spend at least $100 during the first full calendar month after account opening

The Fine Print

  • Open a new San Mateo Credit Union (SMCU) Premium or Free Checking account (no other account types are eligible) from 4/1/19 – 5/31/19.
  • During the full calendar month immediately following the month in which the account is opened, initiate 10 or more PIN or Signature-based purchases or payments for at least $100 in spend using the SMCU debit card(s) associated with the new checking account.
  • ATM and ACH transactions are not eligible.
  • Offer is not available for existing SMCU members who have an open checking account as of 3/31/19. SMCU employees, affiliates, and their families are not eligible
  • Limit of one bonus-eligible checking account per individual and per mailing address.
  • Cash bonus for the month will be paid to the open, eligible checking account within 31 days after the qualification period ends. The account must have a positive balance at the time of payout to receive the bonus.
  • SMCU will classify the bonus as interest paid to the checking account where the bonus is credited. Any applicable taxes associated with the bonus are the responsibility of the SMCU account holder. To the extent required by law, SMCU will report the total value of this bonus to the IRS on Form 1099-INT for the tax year in which the bonus was paid.
  • In the case of a joint account, purchases and payments from multiple debit cards will be added together.

Avoiding Fees

Monthly Fees

They offer a free checking account with no monthly fee to worry about

Early Account Termination Fee

I wasn’t able to find a fee schedule so I’m unsure if an early account termination fee is charged or not.

Our Verdict

San Mateo has previously offered a $150 bonus but that required a total of 75 debit card transactions to be made. Despite this offer being smaller I do think it’s better than the previous offer. Because the requirements for this bonus are easy to meet and there is no monthly fee to worry about, we will be adding this to our list of the best checking bonuses.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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Fees page:

I see a dormancy fee (< $500 and no activity for a year)

I don't see anything about a penalty in the Truth in Savings Disclosure here either: … that one seems the most relevant.


Tom Brady


Applied, funded with $500 on CSR. Pending approval now:

An SMCU Representative will review your information within one (1) business day. If approved, you will receive an email notifying you that your e-signature is required to complete the process.

If you need to speak to an SMCU Representative immediately or have any questions while your application is being reviewed, you can call us at (650) 363-1725 or email Our member support hours are Monday – Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday 9:00am to 3:00pm.

Thank you for choosing SMCU.


Customer service reports HARD pull for new membership applications, regardless of in-branch or online. Also, they use Experian


Two customer service reps over the phone both independently stated that they do hard pulls for the “membership application” to be part of the credit union, regardless of what type of accounts you’re opening. Wish I knew that before I applied online, now calling them on the phone they said the hard pull is done at the time of clicking the “Submit” button online and there’s no way to rescind an application. Oh well!


I signed up for a checking account online on 4/13 and I don’t see any hard inquiries from San Mateo Credit Union on my Experian, Transunion, or Equifax reports as of 5/7.

Calvin Tam

Looks like a HP when you submit membership application. I did not submit it.

Credit card funding: $500 max, visa/mastercard only.

You understand that by clicking on the I AGREE button immediately following this notice, you are providing ‘written instructions’ to San Mateo Credit Union under the Fair Credit Reporting Act authorizing San Mateo Credit Union to obtain information from your personal credit profile or other information from Experian. You authorize San Mateo Credit Union to confirm your identity to avoid fraudulent transactions in your name and to qualify you for San Mateo Credit Union products and services.

Upon your request, we will tell you if a credit report was obtained and give you the name and address of the credit reporting agency that provided the report.

You promise that everything you have stated in this application is correct to the best of your knowledge. You authorize the San Mateo Credit Union to obtain credit reports in connection with this application for membership. You understand that the Credit Union will rely on the information in this application and your credit report to make its decision. It is a federal crime to willfully and deliberately provide incomplete or incorrect information on applications made to federal credit unions or state chartered credit unions insured by NCUA.


Hey all, just received my the $100 bonus for completing the bank bonus.

4/15: Credit Card funded $110 into checking account.
4/27: Received debit card through the mail. Promotion required for purchases to be made during the first full calendar month (May) after account opening. Spent $100 on debit card with various purchases (Amazon, groceries, etc).
7/01: $100 deposited into account coded as “Deposit Promo Dividend”

I didn’t see an early account termination fee, but I’ll keep the account open for another couple of month before secure messaging them to close the account. I have already transferred $109.99 out of the account and leaving the account with $0.01 for the time being.

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