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, 2015March 31st, 2016
- 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
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
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.
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.
Funded $1000 with Bank of America Travel Reward credit card, coded as purchase
Does a federal tax return count as a qualified DD for the sign up bonus? I would think so but I wanted to make sure with you guys.
Signed up for account on 3/22
Pushed $250 from Discover on 3/28
Pushed $251 from Cap One 360 on 4/7
No Bonus as of 4/15
Just pushed $251 from fed tax return (not processed yet) just in case.
Offer expired. I originally found this link from your April 2016 bank offers. Why are these bank offers listed if they are expired, I thought you review all links monthly?
Pushed $250 from Fidelity and bonus posted 3 days later
Quick question for those that had their initial funding through a CC rejected. We you able to use a different card later when they called you back, or you called back? Or does that ship sail if you are declined after the application? In my case CSP declined the funding transaction yesterday as potential fraud, because I forgot to call them ahead to set a spending alert on the card… Bummer.
Wondering if next offer will be for $250. Will pass this one as I have had more than 12 chex inquiries in one year anyways.
I just signed up Friday but I got a targeted offer for $350 in the mail.Also used a Capital One Quicksilver to fund $50 of the deposit requirement. Its not showing as a cash advance but I’ll post back to confirm this once my statement posts.
Correction it was $300 bonus
Targeted in what way? Did it just have something on there saying “Promo code: xxxx”? If so that could probably be used by multiple people.
Ugh there wasn’t any code it was just a targeted mailer. The bank rep was actually surprised because he hadn’t seen any offers that high before. I had an old joint account with my father there a long time ago so maybe I was put on some special mailing list.
So Im guessing it was the BoA then. Because I put 250 from CapOne 360 checking (same as yours?) and my bonus didn’t appear yet. I think I tried paypal, pnc, capone so far and none has worked :[
Phong – There are a couple of ways to do an ACH push with CapOne 360. You can do a P2P payment from your cap360 account to First Niagara without “linking” the accounts. That is usually the better way and tends to work. The other way is to do a bank to bank transfer and link the accounts. Which method did you use?
I did a BoA Push ACH Transfer to my First Niagara account for $275 on 4/4/2016, and it has been 9 days and still no sign of bonus posting? If this doesn’t go through then I guess there goes $3 in ACH transfer fees for nothing…
Another Question. I see that CSP is counting as a purchase after initially posting as a Cash Advance. Does anyone know if this will count as spend against the $4,000 needed to get the introductory bonus?