Deal has ended, view more bank account bonuses by clicking here.
Update 3/19/22: Maximum is back to $400
Update 6/12/21: Deal is back, but bonuses have been slashed. $400 bonus is now $200 bonus for example. Hat tip to mothman69
Update: There might be a $500 bonus that is better for those doing the $400 bonus. The debit card transactions are not required No longer being offered
Offer at a glance
- Maximum bonus amount: $400
- Availability: Must reside in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio or Michigan
- Direct deposit required: Yes, $500+
- Additional requirements: Use promo code
- Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
- ChexSystems: Yes
- Credit card funding: Yes, up to $1,000 with a Visa or Mastercard
- Monthly fees: $5-$20, avoidable
- Early account termination fee: Six months, bonus forfeit
- Household limit: One
- Expiration date: December 31st, 2020
- First Merchants Bank is offering a bonus of up to $400 when you open a new checking account account. The bonus you receive depends on the account you open, but for all accounts you need to complete the following requirements:
- Use promo code BANKOFFERS
- Complete at least 15 transactions within 60 days of account opening
- Make a direct deposit of at least $500 within 60 days of account opening
- Bonuses are as follows:
- Earn $50 for opening a new Carefree Checking Account
- Earn $150 for opening a new Advantage Checking Account
- Earn $400 for opening a new Elite Checking Account
The Fine Print
- TO BE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROMOTION: to read: You must be a new First Merchants personal checking client. Clients with an existing personal checking account with First Merchants (either as the primary or secondary account holder) are not eligible. You must not have closed a personal checking account within 180 days of the promotion start date (on or after April 13, 2020). The primary account holder of the participating checking account must be 18 years old or older at the time of account opening and reside in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio or Michigan. First Merchants employee accounts are not eligible for this promotion.
- Get up to $400 for opening a new First Merchants checking account. Earn $100 for opening a new Carefree Checking Account, earn $200 for opening a new Advantage Checking Account or First Direct Account, or earn $400 for opening a new Elite Checking Account AND by depositing at least $100 at account opening (First Direct Checking accounts can be opened with $0), completing 15 transactions within 60 days of accounting opening, and completing at least one direct deposit of $500 or more within the first 60 days after account opening. Offer valid for new First Merchants personal checking accounts opened from April 3, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Enrollment in the promotion is required. (See Account Opening & Enrollment Instructions below.)
- After meeting the qualification requirements, the applicable reward will be credited to the new checking account up to 8 weeks after all qualifications are met. ‘Branch Checking Offer Reward” will appear on the monthly checking statement when the reward is credited to the account holder’s checking account. The reward amount will be based on the type of checking account open when First Merchants verifies that all promotional offer qualifications have been completed. Checking accounts closed within 180 days of opening will be charged a $50 account early closing fee. This promotion is only applicable once per client. First Merchants may report the value of any reward received through any offer to the Internal Revenue Service as required by law. Any applicable taxes are the responsibility of the recipient. In the event that we determine in our sole discretion that your account does not meet the eligibility criteria or the activity on your account does not qualify to meet the required conditions, we will not be obligated to credit your account with the reward payout.
- All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them
Elite Checking ($400 Bonus) – $20 Monthly Fee
This account has a $20 monthly fee, this is waived if you have $15,000 in combined personal deposit balances.
Advantage Checking ($200 Bonus) – $15 Monthly Fee
This account has a $15 monthly fee, this is waived if you do any of the following:
- Make one direct deposit of at least $500 monthly, OR
- Make 15 debit card transactions per month, OR
- Maintain $1,500 minimum combined personal deposit balances OR
- Are 62 years or older
Carefree Checking ($100 Bonus) – $5 Monthly Fee
This account has a $5 monthly fee. This is waived if you:
- Are under 25 years of age
- Make one customer-initiated transaction per month
- Maintain $100 minimum combined personal deposit balances
Early Account Termination Fee
Account needs to be kept open for six months otherwise bonus is forfeit.
Account Closing Fee
There is a $30 fee to close out the account by mail, but doing it in branch is fee-free, according to what reader MikeyBee heard from the bank.
Previously this bonus was targeted, but now looks to be open to everybody. Seems like a bonus that is worth doing, I’ll e adding this to our list of the best checking account bonuses.
Hat tip to @milleraus16
Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:
- A Beginners Guide To Bank Account Bonuses
- Bank Account Quick Reference Table (Spreadsheet) (very useful for sorting bonuses by different parameters)
- PSA: Don’t Call The Bank
- Introduction To ChexSystems
- Banks & Credit Unions That Are ChexSystems Inquiry Sensitive
- What Banks & Credit Unions Do/Don’t Pull ChexSystems?
- How To Use Our Direct Deposit Page For Bank Bonuses Page
- Common Bank Bonus Misconceptions + Why You Should Give Them A Go
- How Many Bank Accounts Can I Safely Open Within A Year For Bank Bonus Purposes?
- Affiliate Links & Bank Bonuses – We Won’t Be Using Them
- Complete List Of Ways To Close Bank Accounts At Each Bank
- Banks That Allow/Don’t Allow Out Of State Checking Applications
- Bank Bonus Posting Times
anybody get a 2022 form 1099 for the checking account bonus yet? i havent gotten anything in the mail and nothing in my eDocuments either still..
Tara Both P1 & P2 received 1099-MISCs via mail about 2.5 weeks ago.
weird they never mailed to me or P2. guess ill just capture it as 1099misc in my tax software. thx
3/29 – opened Elite checking
4/12 thru 5/2 – pushed $500 from a few banks (see bottom of post for transaction descriptions)
5/1 – completed 15 Cash App debit transactions
5/3 – $400 bonus received, “BRANCH CHECKING OFFER REWARD”
6/14 – downgraded to Carefree Checking by calling branch
10/20 – closed account via sending secure message in online banking (yes, this worked, in fact I had called support and the rep told me to send a SM; had already zeroed balance; received email and final e-statement on 10/21 indicating account is closed)
Here are my fake DDs, doubt Ally or Discover triggered the bonus:
JPMorgan Chase/Ext Trnsfr
FID BKG SVC LLC/MONEYLINE (Fidelity CMA)
CAPITAL ONE N.A./CAPITALONE
I have the Elite, was a $400 bonus and $20/mo fee I never knew I could downgrade I just ate it. Just hit 6 mos sent SM and got this reply below. I am close to one I’ll just go in branch but as a head’s up:
Thank you for contacting Customer Care. To change your account type, you would need to contact your local banking center. We are unable to close out accounts that are interest bearing, via Customer Care. In order to close your interest-bearing account, please visit your local banking center. The banking center will need your signature to close the account. If you are not near a banking center, you may send a notarized letter via mail to the banking center. The letter must include the following:
Copy of your driver?s license or other pictured ID
Instructions/Request to close the account
Address to where any funds remaining may be sent
Please note, there is a $30 fee for closing an account via mail. There is no charge to close an account in person at the banking center. Any signer on an account may close the account at the banking center. If you need further assistance, please reply to this message, or call Customer Care at 1-800-205-3464.
Account opened OOS 7/15
7/28 $501 DDA 2 DDA Wells Fargo push
8/2 15 $0.50 Amazon reloads
8/5 closing entry (check issued) and call received that account would be closed due to being out of footprint
8/8 $501 employer DD returned to employer
Thought this was all over and moved on
9/26 received statement in mail. $200 promo posted 8/26 woohooo
9/26 Zelle’’d money out ASAP
Dosent seem to be any mention of the offer on the website. Could it have been pulled?
Hi, is this $400 checking promo still available? Thanks!
Did anyone recently got paid for the new July offer?
P1 and P2 opened accounts 7/6. $500 Ally push on 7/11 and completed 15th Amazon reload (all less than $1) 7/15. Made real $500 DD 7/22. No bonuses posted yet, which seems odd since other DP indicate bonus posting day after meeting requirements.
RyanE Same here, it seems like this has been pulled back. Did you end up getting your bonus?
Still have not received the bonus. I definitely applied while the offer was still on the webpage (7/6/22)
Never been able to login to online banking. Always a 500 internal server error. Their IT dept and ticket system are incompetent and its the usual try a different browser / cache / phone / cookies, different IP, etc and its the same 500 internal server error every time. They force you to enable e-statements via online banking and not over the phone so ive been forced to pay e-statements and monthly maintenance fee and call in anytime I need to see my balance. Cant wait to close this annoying account but waiting for the 6 month mark so they dont clawback.
Anybody get a fast payment recently? Mine seems to not be paying out. Is that due to the DD used? Or are they slow on payouts now?
Got mine 2 weeks ago. The timeline:
07/06: Chase Ach $515
07/06: 15x Amazon gift cards $1
07/07: Branch Checking Offer Reward ($400)
07/12: Called and downgraded to Carefree checking.
Looks like it might have been the debit purchases. I did 15 but I guess one of them didn’t count. I did 13 CashApp reloads of $1.0x, one small purchase at the post office, and a $.01 payment to xfinity. All coded as POS PURCHASE NON PIN, except for the post office, which was a POS PURCHASE WITH PIN. I did an additional CashApp reload of $100, and it triggered the next day.
26Jun: Discover push
28Jun-7Jul: 15 aforementioned debits
13Jul: AMEX biz push
14Jul: Shopify payout
18Jul: $100 CashApp reload
19Jul: $400 “BRANCH CHECKING OFFER REWARD”
I didn’t see anything for a minimum debit purchase, but I’m guessing the 1 cent purchase was probably the one that didn’t qualify. There was a lock in the middle where I tried too many reloads in a row, not sure if that was related. The 15 were all successful, not including the ones denied due to suspected fraud.
Hi, which link did you use? Thanks!
Called them regarding the account#. They setup an appointment and finished the process during the appointment and provided me the account# through the docusign document. Here is my referral. https://bit.ly/3OPwWse