Posted by William Charles on December 9, 2015
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on December 9th, 2015 | by William Charles


Five Star Bank $250 Rochester, NY In Branch Checking Bonus

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $250
  • Availability: Must apply at their Rochester, NY branch (inside CityGate)
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, no minimum specified
  • Additional requirements: None
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: None, since it’s in branch only 
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Early account termination fee: Bonus forfeit if closed within 180 days
  • Expiration date: March 31st, 2016

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Open a qualifying checking account in branch at Five Star Bank’s new Rochester branch and receive a $250 bonus when you complete the following requirement:
    • Establish a qualifying direct deposit (no minimum specified) within 60 days of account opening

five star bank $250 bonus

The Fine Print

  • Qualifying checking accounts are as follows: TotalValue Checking, Basic Banking Account, TotalValue Safe Checking, TotalValue Senior Checking, TotalValue Plus Checking or a TotalValue Premier Checking
  • Your direct deposit needs to be a recurring electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefit (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government
  • The bonus will be deposited into this checking or NOW account within 90 days from the last day of the month your account was opened
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Bonus will be forfeit if you close the account within the first 180 days. The best account to open is the TotalValue Checking as it has no monthly fees and no monthly minimums.

Our Verdict

Obviously this bonus only makes sense if you live near the branch, that way you should be able to confirm if it’s a soft or hard pull before opening the account. I doubt you’ll be able to initially fund with a credit card since you must open in branch, but I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

We’ve added this bonus to our current complete listing of all bank account bonuses which can be viewed here. I haven’t added it to our list of the best bank bonuses available (listed here) due to the fact it has such a small footprint and we don’t know much about how it works.


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I’ll be trying this as it’s my hometown. Doing the First Niagara one as well. Thanks Will!


Will, I applied for this account this morning in the branch. It’s a soft pull (ChexSystems) and cannot be funded with a credit card. It’s also important to note that the Total Value Checking account that you recommend is fee-free, but only after you set-up your web banking account and opt-in to e-statements. If you don’t do this, you will be charged a $5.00 monthly fee for paper statements.


I happened to be taking a road trip that went right past this bank late last year, so I stopped by to open an account. It’s a very modern looking building, with high ceilings, video walls, and fancy architecture. They provide free brownies, cookies, and bottled water/drinks to anyone who comes in(the banker encouraged the friend who was with me to take some, even though they weren’t a customer). The brownies were above average.

It seems they’re really working hard to get people to go to this new branch, and see how fancy it is. It no doubt cost them dearly to build it, and they want to get their moneys worth.

I asked the banker if a normal ACH transfer would trigger the bonus, or if it required an actual payroll direct deposit. He claimed that only a payroll direct deposit will trigger the bonus. Unfortunately, it seems that due to the way the bonus works, there’s no way to test that out without risk.

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