Posted by William Charles on February 3, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on February 3rd, 2016 | by William Charles

80

[Expired][CT, MA, PA & NY] First Niagara $200 Checking Bonus

Offer is now expired, view the best offers by clicking here.

Reposting since this offer is now live again.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $200
  • Availability: CT, MA, PA & NY
  • Direct deposit required: $250+
  • Additional requirements: Yes, see below
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft, ChexSystems
  • Credit card funding: Up to $1,000 in initial funding, no American Express cards
  • Monthly fees: $9.95 – $25, waivable
  • Early account termination fee: 180 days, $25
  • Expiration date: December 31st, 2015  March 31st, 2016

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Receive a $200 sign up bonus when you open a Pinnacle or Pinnacle Plus checking account with First Niagara when the meeting the following requirement:
    • Receive a direct deposit of at least $250 within 60 days of account opening

first niagara $200 bonu

The Fine Print

  • Your direct deposits need to be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government
  • The cash bonus will be deposited into your new checking account within 30 days from end of month in which direct deposits totaling $250 or more are made to your account
  • Account must be open and maintain a positive balance in order to obtain the bonus
  • Valid only for individuals who have not had any consumer checking relationship with First Niagara in the previous 365 days
  • Customers must be residents of CT, MA, PA or NY to participate in this offer
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Once the bonus posts, it’s possible to downgrade to other of their other accounts (Simple or Choice) to make it easier to avoid the monthly fees before you cancel after six months.

Pinnacle Checking $15 Monthly Fee

  • Maintain an average daily balance of at least $1,000 or
  • Maintain at least $25,000 in combined deposits or loans with First Niagra (excluding mortgages)

PinnaclePlus Checking $25 Monthly Fee

  • Minimum daily balance of at least $5,000 or
  • Maintain at least $50,000 in combined deposits or loans with First Niagra (excluding mortgages)

Early Account Termination Fee $25

If you close your account within 180 days, First Niagara will charge you a $25 early account termination fee. If your account has a balance of $0, it will go into negative and be reported to ChexSystems. This would make it nearly impossible to open bank accounts in the future.

Our Verdict

Previously First Niagara offered a $250 bonus (open to everybody) then a $250 bonus (same restricted states) and then a $100 bonus. I think $200 is about as good as it’s going to get if you didn’t get on the original $250 bonus offer. If I lived in the area for this bonus then I’d sign up and complete it as follows:

  • Open a Pinnacle Checking account, fund with a rewards earning credit card with $1,000 (earning me some rewards and enough to keep the account fee free)
  • Set up a direct deposit of $250+ with employee payroll if easy to switch/split otherwise use one of the work arounds
  • Wait for bonus to post
  • Withdraw all but $1,000 to keep the account fee free
  • Close account after 180 days to avoid any early account termination fee, making sure to withdraw all remaining funds first.

The other thing to consider is that it’s possible to get a bonus from First Niagara every year and a half (you need to keep the account open for 180 days to avoid the early account termination fee and then wait another 365 days before you can get the bonus again).

We’ve added this bonus to our list of complete checking account bonuses and also our list of the best checking account offers currently available.

 



80
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
JohnnieD
JohnnieD

First Niagara was just purchased by Key Bank so accts will transition to Key in mid 2016.

Elliot
Elliot

T&Cs say direct deposit must be within 60 days of opening, not 90

jay
jay

I remember closing account last year and not getting hit with early terminating fee. Might be different this time though.

David Martinez
David Martinez

I tried funding with my chase sapphire (two separate accounts) and it did not go through.

Jeff
Jeff

Anybody have success in receiving the bonus? Would appreciate data points before offer expires 12/31.

Win
Win

t+0: Opened a/c, funded $1k with CC. Linked new a/c to Chase, external transfer initiated.
t+2: Chase transfer hits account, bonus posts.

Chase account is business checking.

Mitch
Mitch

What credit card did you use to fund the account?

Win
Win

Cap One Quicksilver.

Cy
Cy

Tried to fund using Barclay arrival and had cash limit set at $1. The transaction posted on my credit card but removed shortly after, I received an email from First Niagara saying they are unable to complete the transaction. They coded it as a cash advance from what Barclay CS told me,

Ben
Ben

Funding with Arrival+ with cash limit at $1 also failed here (before saw the above data point). ACH with Cap1 360 worked for DD, bonus posted very quickly, the next day.

Mohammad M
Mohammad M

Has anyone had success with any CC but Cap1? I tried Citi and it was declined.

Tinker
Tinker

For those who got bonus, what the entry of transfer from other bank display as? The transfer into 1st Niagra from my other bank displays like:
bankABC P2P XFR

Is that the same for yours that counted as DD and got bonus?

To share my CC funding data – Citi did not work, nor Chase Ink. BofA seemed working

Chad
Chad

Opened Pinnacle checking account, did an $800 ACH from Capital One which posted yesterday, no bonus today. Initiated two more $250 pushes today, one Discover Bank and one from Capital One (since I didn’t do an opening deposit), we’ll see what happens. Initial credit card funding with Chase Freedom didn’t work.

Phong

Anyone have any updates on if ACH still works since they’ve changed the terms? I plan on applying for it today, but I’m afraid the bonus is not going to work using my Paypal or PNC account.

jay
jay

Chase INK coded as purchase. initially cash advance goes down by whatever you funded but ends up being as a purchase.

Dan
Dan

Confirmed jay’s experience with Chase INK for initial funding. Initially reduced CA amount by $1,000 two days later switched to purchase. Shows as purchase on statement.

jay
jay

Any new report on bonus for anyone?

jay
jay

Got the bonus. Added funds via Discover bank and it counted as DD. pls update it.

massavel
massavel

correct me if I am wrong: if we close earlier than 180 days, we would be charged $25 and the $200 bonus would not be retracted, right?

Kevin
Kevin

Where are you seeing the new expiration date? The direct link to offer still says 12/31/2015 for me?

Back to Top ↑