Posted by William Charles on November 3, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses no image

Published on November 3rd, 2018 | by William Charles

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[Expired] [Targeted] [Fort Worth, TX Only] First Financial Bank $400 In Branch Checking Bonus

Deal has expired, view the best checking bonuses by clicking here.

Update: Looks like they are requiring the personalized mailer this time. Updated title to targeted.

Update 11/3/2018: Deal is back and valid until December 15th.  It does say you need the physical mailer, but they have the physical mailers in branch so not sure the point of that requirement. Hat tip to reader @ussoccer_fan

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $400
  • Availability: Fort Worth branch (1000 Forest Park)
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, no minimum specified
  • Additional requirements: Maintain average balance of $1,000+ for 90 days
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees: $6, avoidable but difficult
  • Early account termination fee: $25, 180 days
  • Household limit: None listed, one according to this comment though.
  • Expiration date: August 15th, 2018 December 15th, 2018

The Offer

No direct link, see image below

  • First Financial Bank is offering a bonus of $400 when you open a new WOW checking account at the Fort Worth branch (1000 Forest Park). Requirements for the bonus are as follows:
    • Have a direct deposit made to the account within 90 days of account opening (no minimum specified)
    • Maintain at least a $1,000 average balance for 90 days from the date of deposit

 

The Fine Print

  • Valid until August 15th, 2018. Says you need to bring the flyer in branch, but the flyers should be in branch as well
  • Checking offer is not available to existing First Financial Bank checking customers and is only valid at the Fort Worth location
  • Offer not available to those whose accounts is closed within 90 days or with a negative balance
  • Must deposit $50 at account opening
  • Have a direct deposit made to the account within 90 days of account opening
  • Maintain at least a $1,000 average balance for 90 days from the date of deposit
  • Direct deposit needs to be an electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefits (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government
  • Bonus will post within 10 business days of requirements being met
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

WOW Checking

This account has a $2 paper statement fee and a $6 monthly fee. Unfortunately it’s difficult to keep the account fee free as you receive a $0.10 reduction for every debit card purchase you make

Early Account Termination Fee

According to this the account needs to be kept open for 180 days otherwise a $25 fee is charged.

Our Verdict

Bonus is very attractive as the requirements aren’t very hard to meet, you’ll have to pay a few monthly fees as making 60 debit card transactions monthly isn’t worth the effort to save $6 but you still end up well ahead considering it’s a big $400 bonus. This is really a no brainer if you don’t live too far from the branch. Will add it to the best region specific bank bonuses.

Hat tip to reader @ussoccer_fan

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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William Charles You might want to add in the heading “available in branch only”

Emailed the bank with some questions and will report back once I hear from them.

They tried to weasel their way out of paying the bonus since I only had 2 DDs from Amazon. Argued that terms only specify DD singular and the bonus showed up this morning. I hate when banks don’t adhere to their own terms, but at least they made it right without having to CFPB them.

Fine print doesn’t specify that have to be resident of Fort Worth. I travel there often, and can apply in branch and should get the bonus then, right?

It says you have to open it in branch and bring them the flyer. So this is a targeted offer and you have to have a flyer to open it, so this is a pretty difficult offer to qualify for. How do you get a flyer? Anyone have one?

+1 on the question.

not sure what basis Doc said they should be in the branch, when these could be specifically targeted or generally targeted.

Doc?!? 🙂

I emailed and said I took a pic with my phone and if they needed the physical mailer. Waiting to hear back.

Great, even better.

Anyone know if this is one per household?

payyoutuesday

The flier says maintain $1k from account opening in one place and maintain $1k from the date of deposit (presumably direct deposit) in another place. Since it also says you can open an account with $50, the second interpretation may be correct.

Average balance, so deposit more than $1,000 so that the balance averages out to >$1,000 over the required time period.

payyoutuesday

Agree. I was trying to point out that there is a discrepancy in the required time period.

Ahh, gotcha. I’ll ask them when I go in, but I’m sure the banker will just make something up.

payyoutuesday

Yeah, they probably won’t know the answer. I took the conservative approach and made my opening deposit > $1,000 to eliminate all doubt.

Good call. How did you make the funding deposit? Debit card, cash, or check?

payyoutuesday

Wow, that is an incredibly long hold time. Do you know if they accepted debit funding?

payyoutuesday

Sorry, I don’t know. Seems like a strong possibility, though. Maybe request debit funding first with a check as a backup plan.

OPENED ACCOUNT TODAY REPORT!

1) flyers were at bank teller windows. Not a lot, but obviously freely available. There were other flyers for 100, so don’t grab that one by mistake.

2) account opening was painless. About 20 minutes. I’m LOL on Chexsystem, so that wasn’t an issue.

3) the banker I opened with didn’t seem like either he saw a bunch of this offer, and maybe wasn’t totally familiar. So I don’t think they’re slammed or hostile to people using it. I’m from a suburb that ironically has one of these branches and they didn’t care.

4) interestingly, there is no paper trail for this promotion. I asked a couple times if there was a code or if he needed the card just to make sure it wasn’t forgotten, and he assured me it wasn’t a problem. Given the flyer itself doesn’t indicate a promo code or say it has to be noted at application, I wouldn’t worry much— but you may want to make sure you at least keep the promo card.

5) I went ahead and opened with 1000 given the slightly ambiguous wording, and I wanted to expedite meeting the terms.

All in all a very easy and hassle free experience- and hthe is branch is even open on Saturday, so you could always combo it with a visit to many interesting things nearby.

Great, thanks for the heads up. Do you think having EX frozen would be a problem? It’s prevented me from opening other banks in the past.

payyoutuesday

I opened the WOW! checking account today in-branch. Several items to add to what others have reported:

1) I was greeted by a banker right away, so I didn’t have a chance to find a flyer. I told him that I had heard there was a bonus for opening an account, and he produced a card that is slightly different than the flyer shown in your picture. The details are the same as the flyer, EXCEPT this card says you have to open the account by July 31, 2018.

2) The form that you fill out to give your information says that you are authorizing them to pull your ChexSystems report. I don’t know if they actually did it or not.

3) There is an account closing fee of $25 if you close within 180 days.

4) I used a check for my opening deposit. They put a hold on it until July 19!! That seems excessive.

5) Apparently the account comes with cell phone protection, $10,000 travel accidental death insurance, roadside assistance, ID theft protection, and various coupons and discounts. I haven’t received the details yet — this is all run through a third party.

6) I received a temporary password via email and was up and running in online banking within an hour and a half or so.

William Charles
I went and opened a wow account today. No need of flyer just go and tell you want to open checking account to the banker and ask about wow account promotion. No promo code needed and it is not targeted offer. Limit 1 per household when I checked with banker he confirmed for it. Offer specific for this branch only.

William Charles Any DP on triggering Direct Deposit requirement?

Opened an account today. Definitely a bit of a PIA to get there, but worth the drive.

I did find out that once the bonus is paid, you can downgrade the account to avoid the $6 fee.

DP – Bonus is one per household.

Did somebody tell you that or is it in writing somewhere? We were going to get one for each of us.

Told by banker. Could be because it was closing time and there were poeple waiting behind us.

Opened an account today and had my wife with me. Asked if my wife could open her own account and she said the bonus would only apply to the first account and it’s one per household. If she lived at a different address she could get the bonus too.

How can I figure out the DD requirement? Other than payroll, is there any way I can do? Is there anyone tried ACH?

Do you think it is hard to close the account when the time comes?

Any data points on opening an account with an out-of-state (non-Texas) address?

Tried to open yesterday. Out of state visiting and was told I wasn’t eligible without a local utility bill etc.

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