Posted by William Charles on January 11, 2016
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Published on January 11th, 2016 | by William Charles

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Met The Requirements Of A Bank Bonus And Haven’t Received It? Here’s What To Do

Reposting this because we’ve gotten a lot of questions relating to this recently.

Banks and credit unions don’t have the best reputation for customer service, especially when it comes to paying consumers money. Recently there have been a few examples of financial institutions not honoring bank account bonuses, most notably Wells Fargo has dragged their feet on this $100 bonus and Alliant claims that this $150 offer was targeted, even though they accepted applications and the fine print never stated it was a targeted promotion.

In cases like this, the financial institution is legally required to pay you the bonus. The onus is on them to ensure that the fine print states whether the promotion is targeted or not, furthermore they should be using unique invitational codes so that consumers can’t sign up for offers they aren’t eligible for.

[Read: Best bank account bonuses]

In the event that this bait and switch happens to you, here is what you should do:

  • Re-read the fine print carefully. You should always take a screenshot of any offers you sign up for. This way you have evidence of what the offer was like when you signed up. In some cases there might be a reason as to why you haven’t received your bonus (e.g sometimes bonuses take 120 days after the requirements are met to post). In the case of the Wells Fargo bonus, Wells Fargo requires consumers to have their W9 on file for the bonus to post.
  • Contact the banks customer support. Usually you can send a secured message or e-mail. If you call, make sure you get the customer service representatives name or employee ID and also get a reference code for the call. If you don’t get an adequate response (e.g they pay out the bonus) then it’s time to escalate.
  • File a complaint with the CFPB. You can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau online here. Make sure to include as much information as possible, here is what I recommend including:
    • Screenshot of the offer at the time of your application (if you forgot or lost your screenshot, we take and post these on our site as well)
    • Any correspondence you’ve made with the bank and any outcomes of this correspondence. E.g, “Called bank on 11/11/2013 customer service rep employee ID 129513, phone call reference number 028457. Representative stated that the bonus would post to my account within two weeks. It has been three weeks, bonus has still not posted)

The CFPB is extremely pro-active about these complaints. They’ll forward your complaint to the financial institution, in every instance I’ve seen a valid complaint made in regards to bank bonuses the financial institution has responded within 5 working days and a satisfactory outcome (e.g the bonus being paid) has been achieved.

[Read: How the CFPB complaint process works]

You should not worry about ruining your banking relationship by using this complaint process, adverse action taken on this basis is extremely illegal and no financial institution in their right mind would take this risk. Financial institutions are required to play by rules and if they fail to do so, making a CFPB complaint is the easiest way to get a positive outcome.



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Sid
Sid

Is the CFPB an organization to contact to complain about credit card bonuses not posting as well? I’ve already been told I won’t get the bonus but I’d like to voice an objection regardless.

purcitron
purcitron

biggest problem is that banks are more strictly enforcing the direct deposit requirement. ACH push doesnt work with many banks

Ny
Ny

Such a timely post (as always). Trying to work with US Bank about my missing bonus just feels like I’m getting the run-around. I just submitted my complaint with screenshots. Hopefully, I hear something positive soon. Thanks for running such a great blog.
Also, there’s another bonus out there for AZ residents: midfirst.com/Arizona200

james
james

Great to know about this. Back in the early days of Citi’s 20,000 AA mile bonus, they were denying people’s bonuses for all kinds of made up reasons. Wish I had saved copies of my secure message thread…

Ron
Ron

Thanks for the info, just filed a complaint against Discover Bank because they promised a bonus when I opened one of their savings accounts but they keep delaying the deposit saying they “escalated it to a promotional specialist for investigation” This is the third time they’ve escalated it but still no bonus.

Ron
Ron

Well, finally got my bonus. After submitting a complaint with the CFPB, within three days I got a message from a manager at Discover Bank and the bonus was deposited to my account within two weeks.

Thanks again for the tip on filing a complaint with the CFPB.

jay
jay

Question will. I am currently in back and forth mode with citizens back about bonus. The issue is boiling down to account opening date. The terms were apply before 7.31.15 and get $200. Now they didn’t actually open the account until 8.4.15 as they needed identity proof from me which i mailed next day of opening account online.

Do i have a case here to fight for the bonus? As I technically opened the account before the deadline but their system has different date.

Eric
Eric

I had this same problem a few years ago with Citizens. Are you sure the terms said “apply” by that date? I am almost positive it said the account had to be opened by that date when I was denied. I didn’t end up getting the bonus.

jay
jay

I will double check but pretty sure it said apply by. It’s a movers coupon. I was hoping to get approved online only but they needed to see my identity proof. This is churnable bonus and last time it worked perfectly fine.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Do you recommend using the CFPB on a case where the bank hasn’t paid the bonus on a promotion where I used ACH instead of the required DD? Wouldn’t this draw attention to the ACH loophole?

I still haven’t gotten paid the $300 from Discover checking (opened before 11/4) and used Ally for two $250 deposits. I just finished doing two $250 with Paypal, so I’ll give it a little longer to see if that does the trick.

NoonRadar

It doesn’t make much sense to go to the CFPB without contacting the bank at least once asking about the bonus to be posted. If the reason for them not giving you the bonus is due to your ACH not being counted as a DD, the bank will tell you so, in which case I would not take it to CFPB, don’t see a ground for course reversal; the bank would point to the CFPB the indicator showing that money was not DD (whatever they saw in the first place to deny you the bonus).

If the bank is acting like an ahole (Nationwide as I recall was acting as such with me about a bonus) then definitely threaten them with the complaint, also let them know you have screen shots (I always screen grab the offer page and also any additional bonus terms pages) of their marketed offer.

I’d be surprised if they still bulk, in which case a complaint with CFPB would make them do so. In this case I would also let the bank know that I would make sure to also file a complaint with BBB and voice my experience online wherever the bank advertises; whether I do it or not its a diff story, I would probably not waste my time doing so, unless they really pissed me off.

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mike1
mike1

If AMEX shut down my cards due to wanting a 4506-T and I didn’t send it, can I still file an CFPB if it’s already been a year?

Sam
Sam

http://www.freezepage.com to keep the screenshots. Many banks have a http version of the https offer page.

AllwaysLearning22
AllwaysLearning22

I use ‘Save File As’ in Chrome. You can save the whole page as one .mhtml file. You can then open it later in Chrome. You can search it, print it, etc.

Spencer Christensen
Spencer Christensen

Thank you so much for the information. I, like someone else who earlier, am dealing with US bank not giving me my sign up bonus. I unfortunately lost any sort of fine print or offer details. It was this exact card I signed up for:
https://www.usbank.com/splash/credit-cards/cash-plus/aff/index.html

I called for the first time today and they wanted to say I may not have qualified for the offer. However, there are no details on their site about qualifying for that specifically. Will that website be sufficient proof to send to the CFPB or would you possibly be able to offer more advice on where to look for the full agreement

Karl Stursberg
Karl Stursberg

I applied for a platinum checking account through Citizens Bank and never received the $250 bonus. I tried customer service at Citizens and their office of the chairman and got nowhere. Their marketing dept claimed that I needed a promo code, but there was none when I clicked on the web page for the offer. So I complained to the CFPB and they did nothing. Stay away from Citizens Bank because they do not honor their advertising/promotions.

AllwaysLearning22
AllwaysLearning22

I guess – “live and learn”. As stated by others on this page, you need to save a copy or a screenshot of the terms and conditions when you are signing up. I myself have seldom done so. Should do it every time if you want to have ‘documentation’ that you followed their rules and met their conditions.

Charles Mann
Charles Mann

The CFPB is your friend!

Ronald

So BMO Harris bank had a 200 dollar promotion run around the time I set up my account. I click the link and made sure the promotional code was added. Then I summited my application, the stipulations of the promotion was to have 2 direct deposit of more than 500 dollars from a job and make 10 credit/debit card transaction within a certain time frame. Then after a 120 days from opening account. Guess what never got the 200 dollars, BMO customer service refers to the bank, and you go to the bank get referred back to customer service. Went to social media got a little help and was told the promotional code was not on the application. So I tell them it was and I was told by one of there rep it was on there. Not is gone, very deceiving how BMO gets customers to sign up for accounts and take away from other banks that do thing correctly. Know BMO is telling I can’t get the promotion, seem legit illegal and I am not the only one this has happen too. But I will keep up the fight and any suggestions to what I should now. BMO Harris make it right if your reading this.

Tony
Tony

I got Amex Platinum credit card 03/2018 and met the requirement for welcome bonus but I have not got the bonus. The agent from Amex told me that there is no welcome bonus when I applied that credit card. I thought the welcome bonus should be always there regardless the various amount of MR points you got when you apply.
The is my first platinum card so I think I am eligible for the bonus.
I want to File a complaint with the CFPB, so my question is how can I get a screenshot for the welcome bonus page of the time I applied the platinum card(03/2018)?

Chuck

You need to apply from a link that shows the signup bonus. If you did that, then you can file a complaint with CFPB. Otherwise, it’s a tough error 🙁 , but I don’t see it as a valid complaint.

Tony
Tony

I definitely applied from a link that shows the signup bonus.
according to the link below, I need a screenshot of welcome bonus webpage at the time I applied to file a valid complaint. Do you know how to get one?
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/met-the-requirements-of-a-bank-bonus-and-havent-received-it-heres-what-to-do/
“Screenshot of the offer at the time of your application (if you forgot or lost your screenshot, we take and post these on our site as well)”

Chuck

I guess you can try the wayback machine

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