Posted by William Charles on October 1, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on October 1st, 2018 | by William Charles

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[NJ, NY & PA] Ocean First Bank $200 Checking Account Bonus – Direct Deposit Not Required

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $200
  • Availability: New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania
  • Direct deposit required: None
  • Additional requirements: See below
  • Hard/soft pull: soft
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: yes limited to $100 now (maybe up to $500?)
  • Monthly fees: $7.95, waived first year
  • Early account termination fee: Bonus is forfeit if closed within one year
  • Household limit: None listed
  • Expiration date: None listed

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Ocean First Bank is offering a bonus of $200. 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 and a mobile deposit of $25 or more within 60 days and receive a $100 bonus
    • On your 6 month account anniversary receive a $50 bonus

The Fine Print

  • Offer available for first-time checking customers as of 9/24/18 for a limited time and subject to change at any time
  • Business checking accounts do not apply to this offer
  • 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.

Geographic Availability

Update: Working outside those counties.

This offer only works online for residents of Ocean County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County and Mercer County. In the past, other NJ residents were able to apply in a branch and get the offer. I’m unsure if this is still the case, on the first page of sign up it will tell you if you’re zip code is valid or not.

Our Verdict

We’ve seen an offer for $300 before from Ocean First Bank, but that offer required a direct deposit and 20 debit card transactions. Some readers might prefer this smaller bonus as the requirements are easier to meet. It might be worth waiting for a bigger bonus to return if you can easily change your payroll, but keep in mind it looks like Ocean First offers only come around once a year or so. Because of that I’ll be adding this to our list of the best checking sign up bonuses.

Big thanks to reader, Fried S who let us know. Learn how to find bonuses and contribute to the site here.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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TheTaxman_Cometh
TheTaxman_Cometh

Fine print now says the fee is waived for 3 months and account must remain open for 1 year or bonus is forfeited.

this kills it then. no one’s gonna leave 5k in there for 1 year to waive the fee.

You’d still net around $129 after absorbing 9 months of fees. Not worth the effort IMHO.

They issue a 1099, so you’d have to pay taxes on the 200, assuming a 25% tax rate that eliminates another $50, so $129-50=$79

Yeah, I realized that this April when doing the taxes.
That’s why I only do easy bank account bonuses.
Not worth the effort to do difficult bonuses only to see uncle Sam take away most of your hard earned income.

I wonder how strictly they enforce the “first time customer” for those that had accounts several years ago, or only after 9/24/18?

Warning: Might need to close the acc in a branch.

I am eligible but this looks like PITA to get the bonus and avoid fees.
We should devise a “Degree of difficulty” score for bank account bonuses.
For example, based on ease of opening account, ease of maintaining, fees (monthly and early account termination fee), time and effort to get the entire bonus & ease of closing,
Based on the past DPs this looks like a 4 to 5/5 degree of difficulty.

I don’t think it’s a 4 or 5. I’d say look at it as a $128 signup bonus. Get your debit card, use it, hang around for a year (absorbing 9 months in maintenance fees = $82), close the account. Took me about 10 minutes to sign up and fund it, I’ll take that.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Applied online instant account #. $100 CC funding w/ Discover posted as purchase. Lengthier process but instant access to online banking which is nice. If they do pull Chex they cannot possibly be sensitive.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Also I will note that I do not live in those mentioned counties.

They are expanding, I know of one location in Burlington County NJ(Maple Shade) opening soon. Trying my home zip in PA also seemed to work.

They also have extremely annoying and catchy little jingles on NJ1015… “Ocean First Bank…. putting you first!”

Yay! Thanks for the Maple Shade tip! 🙂 Makes this very doable for me.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Everyone is freaking out but why haven’t you thought to park 5k after the 3rd statement hits or even just eat three months of fees. Then after the 6th month bonus posts then downgrade. They offer student checking or totally free checking w no min balance.

the fine print changed. now you need to keep the account open for 1 year.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

I understand that. Fees waived for first three months. Either A.) Eat $7.95 x 3 or B.) Park 5K from months 3-6. Then after you get the final bonus for the 6 month anniversary downgrade to totally free checking. Months 6-12 no fees then close at 1 year mark.

Two questions:

1) I had an account with Sun National which eventually merged into Ocean First. I think I closed it less than a year ago. Would I be eligible for this? Technically I was never a customer of Ocean First.

2) For people complaining about the minimum balance, can’t you just transfer enough money in so you are 5,000 for a few days, until the statement date, and then transfer it back out?

The final 50 bonus comes on your 6 month anniversary. If you view it as interest, $50 is better than you are going to get in just about any high rate checking or savings account on $5,000.

After that I imagine you can just change your account type to their free checking.

I just tried to fund with CC at $500 and I didn’t receive an error. Account completed so I think it went through?

I was super interested in this. Then I read the deal has changed dramatically. Not worth the effort.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

I received a bonus outline in mail and I have uploaded the image to Imgur and have included the link. It also mentions a $100 bonus for Student Checking or Totally Free Checking. Might be worthwhile for some. Also it shows different requirements then listed online. Its also dated Feb 15th 2017 although. Take a look William Charles
https://imgur.com/a/L2LeByy

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Update: They accidentally sent me last years bonus addendum and sent me the new one and told me to follow online promo.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Here is the updated one https://imgur.com/a/GYfIl5m

Declined due to Chex with a score of 505

Just signed up tc stated bonus fortified if closed before 182 days

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Abey Where do you see this can you send me link or upload photo.

I sent them to doc a while ago… here it is again https://imgur.com/gallery/ECWEmhd

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Thanks Abey that’s a tough sell because it has condradicting terms…

I have a quick question.
What is a mobile deposit? Anybody knows this? Please let me know 🙂

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Taking a picture of a check and depositing to your bank account through the app.

Also confirmed cc funding up to $500

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