Posted by William Charles on November 4, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on November 4th, 2016 | by William Charles


[MD, DC & VA only] Sandy Spring Bank $100 Checking Bonus

Offer at a glance

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Open a new Sandy Spring Bank checking account and receive a $100 bonus when you:
    • Establish and maintain a direct deposit of at least $500 during the 4th statement cycle


The Fine Print

  • To receive the $100 Bonus, open any checking account (excluding student banking) between 8/08/16 and 12/31/16, and establish and maintain direct deposit during the 4th statement cycle.
  • Minimum direct deposit to qualify is $500 during the monthly statement cycle from a paycheck, pension, social security or other regular monthly income electronically deposited.
  • Transfers from one account to another or deposits made at the branch or ATM do not qualify as direct deposits.
  • Limited-time offer available only to individuals who currently do not have a personal checking account with Sandy Spring Bank or have not had one within the last 90 days.
  • Offer subject to change and cancellation without notice, cannot be combined with any other offer, and is not transferable.
  • Only one Bonus per individual.
  • Bonus will be deposited within 30 days of the end of the 4th statement cycle, into the checking account meeting the Bonus requirements, to accounts in good standing.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

The my free banking account has no monthly fee and also no monthly minimums. According to this comment the early account termination fee is $25 if the account is closed within 90 days.

Our Verdict

Most people will be turned off by the fact that it looks like they are inquiry sensitive. It’s nice that it’s a soft pull and you can fund a small amount with a credit card. For now we won’t be adding it to our list of the best bank account bonuses.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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So you need four months of $500+ deposits OR one $500 deposit in the fourth cycle? It seems unclear.

El Guapo
El Guapo

The 4th cycle requirement is strange. No thanks, not for 100. Happier with getting my seventh Bank of America cashback card (five MLB teams, 1 MTA and 1 NEA) with the 200 bonus on 500 spend.


DP’s: Soft/Hard pull – I called prior to applying, and per CSR, it would be a pull from ChexSystems. (just opt out of overdraft) I found out the application does have a few knowledge based questions, so I assume they get a soft pull from somewhere beyond Chex. If my identity protection services pop up with a hard inquiry I will update this post, but that usually takes a few days,.
When applying online:
+ Credit card funding: Maximum $250 for credit or debit cards, Visa or MasterCard only. Other funding options are either mailing a check, or provide your bank’s ABA Routing/Acct number online ($25 minimum to open). I used my Chase Unlimited Visa for $250, and it has a preset CA limit of $20. Went through without issue, and I am assuming as a “purchase” since it wasn’t instantly denied.
+ Not inquiry sensitive: I have opened well over a dozen deposit accounts this year, 3 or 4 just last month alone. My new account number was displayed at the end of the application, so I assume the account is approved and active. I also received a confirmation e-mail stating the application is completed, account is open, and expect a welcome letter in the mail for online access and bill pay sign-up info. I will update my post if for some reason I get denied upon “further review”. Very possible the one person who claimed this bank as inquiry sensitive in 2012 had derogatory remarks on their Chex, which I do not. Maybe the bank changed the criteria since then.
+ Early account termination fee: Per the product sheet PDF, the fee is $25 if the account is closed within 90 days of the open date. This won’t be a problem, because bonus doesn’t post until after the 4th statement cycle.
Doc, if you want any other DP’s/info, feel free to contact me. Thanks for keeping up with all these great bonuses and deals!


Corrected DP: THEY ARE inquiry sensitive. Called today to setup online access and after the CSR reviewed the notes she asked me if I had any negative balances on my ChexSystems report, because the notes on my account say they are unable to offer me an account, and that my account funding will be refunded. This is a first for me, to be denied for any account in the last 20 years of banking, but such is the life of a “bonus miner”. I am going to call again tomorrow to try to speak to a supervisor, but I imagine “no means no”. I will at least try to pin them down on what number of Chex inquires IS acceptable, so I can relay the info.


Update: Recv. my denial letter from Sandy Spring, and a refund check for account funding. No indication on the letter as to why I was denied, other than stating that the decision for the denial was based solely or in part on information obtained in ChexSystems. Since I have now been denied an account, I pulled my Chex report to ensure no derogatory information existed; there was none, other than multiple inquires (including this one, 14 in the last 6 months – some of those are duplicated banks for opening a 2nd account, or savings). I then called Sandy Spring customer service again and asked to speak to new accounts office, requesting to know exactly why I was denied. They stated:

1. The main reason I was denied is because I am outside their service area. (I am in SE VA, they are in NE VA) [DP: They are location sensitive – not state-wide]

2. “Multiple ChexSystems inquires within the same period.”

I tried to pin them down on the number of inquires that are acceptable, and said they do not have a specific number. Case closed – on to the next project.


This link is alive again with a different $150 offer. Instead of DD you have to make debit purchases. I think I’m going in.

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