Posted by William Charles on October 6, 2019
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Published on October 6th, 2019 | by William Charles

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[NJ, NY & PA, In Branch Only] Ocean First Bank $250 Checking Account Bonus – Direct Deposit Not Required

Offer at a glance

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Ocean First Bank is offering a bonus of $250. To receive the bonus you need to complete the following requirements:
    • Open a new Simply Great Checking account
    • Request a debit card and receive $50
    • Make a debit card transaction of $25+ and a mobile deposit of $25 or more within 60 days and receive a $100 bonus
    • On your 6 month account anniversary receive a $100 bonus

The Fine Print

  • Offer available to first-time Simply Great checking customers from 10/1/19 through 11/30/19 and subject to change at any time.
  • Business checking accounts do not apply to this offer.
  • Initial $50 cash bonus is paid at account opening when you take and use an OceanFirst Visa® Debit Card with your new account.
  • An additional $50 cash bonus will automatically be deposited into your account after 60 days, only after making a debit card transaction of $25 or more within 60 days of account opening.
  • An additional $50 cash bonus will be automatically deposited into your account after 60 days, only after making a mobile check deposit of $25 or more within 60 days of account opening.
  • An additional $100 cash bonus will automatically be deposited 6 months after your account opening date, as long as you continue to be an active mobile banking user by accessing the mobile banking app and utilizing the mobile banking features.
  • All cash bonuses are taxable.
  • $50 minimum to open any OceanFirst checking account.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Monthly Fees $7

Simply Great checking account comes with a $7.95 monthly maintenance fee. Fee is waived with a daily minimum balance of $5000. Fine print says it’s waived first year.

Early Account Termination Fee

Account needs to be kept open for one year or bonus is forfeit.

Our Verdict

We saw a similar bonus last October, but it was for $50 less but could be opened online. There was also a $300 bonus the previous year. Don’t think it really makes sense to wait for a better bonus to come along as it seems to be a strict one per year and looks like you might be able to churn them as well (although the accounts do need to be kept open for one year to avoid forfeiting the bonus). The deal itself is worth doing if you live near a branch as no direct deposit is required and the monthly fee is waived the first year. I’ll be adding this to the best checking bonus page.

Hat tip to PracticalEmployee

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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K-Man
K-Man

1 year 🤣… Okay

IS250
IS250

One year is annoying but it’s not a big deal considering the bulk of the bonus gets paid rather quickly and then the rest within 6 months. Just do some random mobile deposits and mobile transactions throughout the year to stay “active.” Low maintenance account.

IS250
IS250

Even though the fee is waived the first year, based on previous comments, it seems they charge the monthly $7.95 fee and then credit it separately right after which means you can go negative temporarily if your balance is less than this. So best to keep at least $7.95+ minimum in your account to avoid any possible issues.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

This bank is a pain to deal with.

Thomas
Thomas

Dphili. 100%.

The only bank account bonus I have been burned on. Not worth it.

Trilogy-09

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

They refused to close P2’s account and they still have charged fees continuously. Have a pending CFPB claim.

MN
MN

Though close, technically I don’t see any branch in PA..

Thomas
Thomas

Be very cautious with this one. They can deny the bonus.

NOT WORTH IT.

Flea
Flea

My standard PSA on this annoying bank: I applied when you could apply for an account online.

The bonus was split into two parts. One part was cash; another part was UChoose Rewards, worth a certain amount of money. You also got a tiny amount of rewards involved with just making debit card transactions.

Well, the system had no problem tracking my small incremental rewards; but never gave me the bonus portion of the UChoose points. When it came time to reach out to them, I received an email saying they had no remote control over the bonus, and that I would have to come into a branch in order to solve this.

Now, I didn’t think this sounded right, because I was pretty sure that OceanFirst doesn’t have a thing to do with UChoose, and that I was just going to find I had spent money on NJ Transit to go “fix” the problem, only to have whomever I met at the branch say “We have no control over what UChoose does.”

They also force you to go into a branch in order to close the account – seriously, they won’t even take a certified letter – so I think it’s eminently possible that my account with them still sits open, waiting for it to go dormant.

I would go online and double check for you all to make sure that my old account isn’t charging me fees, but currently I cannot do such a thing, as the splash page prompts me to get a confirmation code, only to find out that when they email me my confirmation code and I return to the page, that the page won’t change to let me input the confirmation code. I can only log out.

When I do log out, I get the following banner ad on the website:

“Online banking and our mobile app are experiencing some intermittent system outages, we are aware if the issue and hope to resolve ASAP. Thank you for your patience.”

AVOID AVOID AVOID

Novacat05
Novacat05

Were the terms of your offer as clear as this one? This clearly states that these are “cash bonuses that will be deposited into your account”.

I do have a branch nearby and I just opened a mortgage with these guys so I am debating it since I already have an online account set up and am in their system.

They can’t even schedule a mortgage payment through them unless you have a checking account, I have to use bill-pay from my real everyday checking account at another bank. All you can do is make one-time payments on their website directly(not re-occuring). Not the end of the world, but annoying none the less. Everything went through fine with closing and all, but I wouldn’t be upset if they sold my loan.

Flea
Flea

I did not take a screen shot of the offer (sorry!); so a bit unclear. What I do know is: I established a real workplace DD (in fact kept it going for approximately a year, as the amount was not large); met the 30 debit card swipe requirement in a month (requirements said “within first 75 days”); and received 30 UChoose points after the fact (1 per debit card swipe). No bonus points or extra money beyond the initial $50 for opening, and the $75 for making first DD.

Novacat05
Novacat05

Thanks for the info. I’ll be sure to screen cap/save everything and ask very specific questions when I apply in person. I did an offer for a credit union in PA once that issued the reward in a rewards point program similar to UChoose. I did have to call the CU once I met the 10 transaction requirement(and that part was clearly communicated) and when I did they “ordered” the point equivalent of $250 and it showed up exactly 4 weeks later. I cashed out the points for straight up cash and it was sent back to my account as a statement credit. I guess since I got points instead of cash, it wasn’t taxable and they never sent me a 1099-INT that year.

Dizzy
Dizzy

Last time this was such a PIA but this time terms are clearer and it was way smoother. So far $50 ahead, it posts before you leave the bank. No uchoice involved this time.

eli
eli

I did this in the brick branch today… went very easy and I already received the 50 for opening , thx for posting

Anduhsun
Anduhsun

Are there any branches in nyc?

JC
JC

They appear to be ChexSystems sensitive. I was denied due to too many recently opened accounts. Ironically, in the last 12 months I have opened 11 personal accounts and 15 in the last 24 months but most were with financial institutions I had an existing banking relationship. As such, if we exclude existing relationships which according to the branch manager at OceanFirst shouldn’t be counted it is 5 in the last 12 months and 8 in the last 24 months. Waiting for the ChexSystems report to see what is on my report. First time I have ever been denied an account.

IS250
IS250

That’s weird. Did the manager deny you or was it the Chex adverse printout?

Jc
Jc

IS250 Supposedly it was Chexsystem adverse printout but am not 100% sure. There was a computer printout though that said account unable to be opened and referenced ChexSystems. I’ve never had an account closed or bounced a check either in over 20 years with bank accounts so curious to see what is going on.

IS250
IS250

Yeah keep us posted. There are others with more inquiries than you and were approved. The OP on Reddit referenced this – “I’m 20+/12. I gently inquired about Chex and she alluded to them only looking for bad marks.”

IS250
IS250

Also, what branch did you go to?

JC
JC

So I looked at my Chex system report and I have 6 inquiries in last 12 months and 12 inquires in the last 3 years including the OceanFirst inquiry and only 5 if you exclude existing banking relationships as per the manager who wouldn’t override the ChexSystems report. Interestingly enough, M&T pulled my Chex 3 times on the same day when opening my M&T checking account at the beginning of this year.

I went to the Marlton branch. So super confused since others clearly have more inquiries then me. Perhaps I will try the Collingswood branch.

Dizzy
Dizzy

Shout out to Collingswood branch. I was the first person to open this there…banker was stoked to see me since she was taking some boring online test and the headphones were giving her a headache. Pulled my report, there were 10 inquiries listed in the last year (I’ve actually opened more than that), she found this “hilarious “ and no problem to open. She found my old address from last time I had an account there, she confirmed that I was eligible for bonus. Note: you must have 2 id’s, credit/debit cards don’t count. luckily I keep my acupuncture license on me and she was able to use that as “employee ID”. She said I could use car or health insurance card but I don’t have either. Address doesn’t have to match the one you put on the account (I live in Philly but NJ DL). Walked out with the first $50 already in my account. Super nice ladies.

Protip: first class at Upcycle studio (spin, yoga, HIIT) up the street is free (and has a shower!). You will need it to compensate for all the Entemann’s bank has out for customer appreciation week.

CW
CW

Wow, that is great! Your account is eligible for the bonus. I thought it is only for the first time ever customer. I closed my account about a year ago. Do you mind sharing when you closed the account? Thanks!

Dizzy
Dizzy

Sometime in 2017

CW
CW

Thank you!

IS250
IS250

What’s your Chex like? Thanks.

J
J

The offer says an account can be opened in branch or over the phone – has anyone tried over the phone? I live in NYC and so am nowhere near a branch.

IS250
IS250

1. Chex – Yes, not sensitive in branch. 40+/12. No hard pull. Chex report was printed out and reviewed but no issues.
2. As someone else pointed out, you need two forms of ID – another debit/credit card is not valid.
3. Make sure you turn off paper statements to avoid the fee
4. Instant issue debit card. Starter checks included and free 1st box of checks.
5. You get an addendum printout of the bonus terms and conditions
6. Did not have an account with them before so can’t comment on churnability

IS250
IS250

Per the addendum, you’re considered an active mobile banking user as of the anniversary date if you have logged into OceanFirst Mobile Banking at least once in the preceding 90 days.

PS
PS

opened in branch. 8/12 status. debit card was issued. 50 bonus credited already. second form of id – insurance card or car registration was ok.

kas141
kas141

Opened in Collingswood branch (PA resident), in and out in under 30 minutes. Used health insurance card as second form of ID. Chex is around 7/12, no mention of it whatsoever. First $50 was credited immediately; just did my mobile deposit yesterday and will be making my $25 debit card purchase today so we’ll see how long it takes for those to post….super easy bonus if you live in the area.

Novacat05
Novacat05

Opened in Maple Shade NJ branch last week, in and out in around 30 minutes. I read this thread and brought my passport with me. These guys have my mortgage on my house I recently moved into this summer so I think that made it a little easier. At the chex screen she asked if I had been applying for mortgages a lot I just said umm, yea that’s it… and a couple accounts here and there, she just smiled and said I see no issues. I’m probably around 8/12 or so. Debit card issued on the spot. Added my new checking account to my existing online profile and it was available next day.

Initial $50 showed up a couple days ago without an initial debit purchase. Easy couple steps to do a mobile check deposit from my real checking account at another bank and a debit purchase and then leave a few bucks in the account and let it collect dust.

Marked in my spreadsheet to close this account right away after one year, might get lucky and avoid one monthly fee then.

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