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


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

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.

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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

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