Posted by William Charles on October 15, 2017
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on October 15th, 2017 | by William Charles

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[Expired] [NJ, NY & PA] Ocean First Bank $300 Checking Account Bonus

This offer has expired and is no longer valid. Click here for the best new checking bonuses.

Offer has returned with a new promo code: 300FALL17. Hat tip to reader William B.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $300
  • Availability: New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, no minimum specified. Needs to post to your account twice and must be maintained for one year.
  • Additional requirements: 30 debit card transactions
  • Hard/soft pull: soft
  • Credit card funding: yes limited to $100 now
  • Monthly fees: Waive-able 
  • Early account termination fee: Account must remain open for a year
  • Expiration date: Unknown

The Offer

Direct link to offer

Whatever option you choose, make sure you use the promotional code 300FALL17

Option #1

  • OceanFirst Bank are offering a sign up bonus of up to $300 on their checking account, broken down as follows:
    • Open a new Simply Great Checking account with a Visa CheckCard and get $50
    • Set up direct deposit within 75 days and get another $50 (needs to post to your account twice and needs to be maintained for one year)
    • Swipe your Visa CheckCard for signature or online transactions 30 times within the first 75 days and receive another $200 [Read: How To Meet Minimum Debit & Credit Transaction Requirements]

Option #2

  • Open a Totally Free Checking account or an A+ Student Checking account along with a free debit card and receive $50 immediately
  • Set up a direct deposit within 75-days and receive another $50
  • Swipe your debit card for signature or online transactions 30 times in the first 75 days the account is open and you will get a bonus of 20,000 Uchoose Rewards points which is worth around $160 in gift cards, such as Amazon, Target or Walmart gift cards (must register for the Uchoose Rewards program)

ocean-first-300

The Fine Print

  • Offer available for first-time checking customers as of 10/16/17 for a limited time and subject to change at any time
  • Initial $50 Cash bonus paid at time of opening and only available to new OceanFirst Simply Great checking account customers who take and use a new OceanFirst Visa® Check Card. An additional $50 cash bonus will automatically be deposited into your account after 75 days only after setting up a direct deposit that has posted twice to your account.
  • Direct deposit must be maintained for one year or the bonus will be forfeited
  • The remaining $200 will be automatically deposited into your account after 75 days and only after swiping the new CheckCard 30 times, for signature or online transactions, within the first 75 days of account opening.
  •  A different offer is available to new OceanFirst A+ Student Checking, Classic or Totally Free Checking customers who open and use a new OceanFirst Visa CheckCard. $50 is deposited when you open a new A+ Student Checking Account, Classic or Totally Free Checking account and an OceanFirst Visa CheckCard; an additional $50 cash bonus will automatically be deposited into your account after 75 days only after setting up a direct deposit that has posted to your account. 20,000 UChoose Rewards® points will be automatically credited to the customer’s UChoose Rewards account after 75 days and only after swiping the new CheckCard 30 times, for signature or online transactions, within the first 75 days of account opening.

Avoiding Fees

  • 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.
  • Classic Checking comes with a $5.95 monthly maintenance fee. Fee is waived with a daily minimum balance of $1000.
  • Totally Free Checking and Student Checking accounts don’t come with monthly fees.

Note that there is a stated $5 monthly inactivity fee.

Geographic Availability

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.

Our Verdict

Very good bonus here for those in the area. Even if you aren’t in the above-mentioned counties, it could be worth driving into the closest branch and taking part in this offer. Before driving in, it’s worth verifying that they’ll let you open an account in-branch with the bonus; it has worked in the past.

Here’s how to go about this offer:

  1. Open the Simply Great checking account and fund it with $2,500 (or whatever the max is) with a credit card; add another $2,500 in the account for a year to keep it fee-free (leave a little more so that you have funds there for the debit card requirement)
    1. Alternatively, open the Totally Free Checking account to get the 20,000 points offer instead of the $200; 20k points is worth around $160 in gift cards, so you’ll lose a little there but you won’t have to tie up the $1k for a year to keep it fee-free
  2. Set up a direct deposit; keep in mind you need two direct deposits and this must be maintained for one year so might make more sense to just ignore this part of the bonus
  3. Buy 30 $.50 Amazon gift cards (slowly), or use other options to meet the debit card requirement
  4. After a year, can close the account or you can downgrade it to a fee-free version so that you don’t need to leave any money in it to keep it fee-free

We will be adding this to our list of the best bank account bonuses found here. This offer has been around before, so you can read people’s experiences here.

Hat tip to reader Jack

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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Max
Max

Hi, as someone who actually did this offer last year I just wanted to comment and datapoint that this bank in particular is very “fee hungry” and will not credit you back anything if something goes wrong. (which their system is pretty much designed to cause)

For example, lets say you decide the monthly fee is worth the $300, so you allocate and leave $60 in the account to cover the costs for 1 year. This bank then charges the 5.95$ monthly fee 5 times, and then because they don’t consider that a transaction, they hit you with another $5 “inactivity” fee in addition to the 5.95 monthly fee. This will then bring your monthly fee to $10.95 instead of $5.95 for the rest of the months, and they won’t contact you about it, or refund the inactivity fee. If this then brings you under $0 (in my case it went to $-1.95) they will then hit you with an overdraft fee. If you initiate an electronic transfer the cover the overdraft, they will then charge an additional $7 a day for 2 days as “continual overdraft” while you are waiting for the electronic transfer to complete, and then will continue to charge you overdrafts as the account is now down an additional $-14 when the transfer completes. and again will refuse to refund any of it when you call to complain.

Ultimately unless you plan on doing the free account, the hassle of dealing with this bank’s internal fee hungry system and loss of value due to the fees, make this offer not worth it.

ASDF
ASDF

You wrote “Open the Classic checking account and fund it with $2,500 (or whatever the max is) with a credit card; park $1,000 in the account for a year to keep it fee-free (leave a little more so that you have funds there for the debit card requirement)
Alternatively, open the Totally Free Checking account to get the 20,000 points offer instead of the $200; 20k points is worth around $160 in gift cards, so you’ll lose a little there but you won’t have to tie up the $1k for a year to keep it fee-free.”
But it seems like this time around the classic checking also only gets the points, and only the simply great checking gets the $200. So you would have to park $5k in there if you want the cash bonus.

Points2travel

“Minimum daily balance is waived for the first year from account opening for Simply Great Checking. After that, a minimum daily balance of $5,000 required to waive $7.95 monthly service fee for Simply Great Checking.”
That’s from their t&c, does that mean the first year is no fee regardless of me having 5k or not in the account?

Points2travel

Confirmed with my banker this afternoon, this current promo has the checking account free for the first year regardless of 5k in the account.

cm
cm

I did this last time around and it worked fine. Just keeping the account open now for the required one year at least. I still have a $50 direct deposit hitting once a month, so it doesn’t get an inactivity fee (though I didn’t realize this until today). Also, I believe I asked a rep on the phone about funding via a credit card and she said that was certainly impossible, even though I told her I read online that people were able to do that, but she said definitely not–and then I just did it on their site anyway! (and fulfilled frequent flier miles that way; should have put the full $2,500 and got more miles that way. Dumb miss.).

Eric
Eric

Did you use a work DD or an ACH transfer? If ACH, what did you use? Did you receive all of the bonuses with no issue?

cm
cm

Just only saw this now. I used a work DD (I split up my DDs over four different banks).

Eric
Eric

How did the coding show up for the DD? Did you receive your bonus yet?

Dan
Dan

Can i fund with amex credit card? Or only visa and mc?

Iz
Iz

Only Visa/MC.

Iz
Iz

Limit of one cash bonus per household.

dan
dan

If we did this bonus last year and closed the account, can we do it again? There doesn’t seem to be language in there regarding this.

Iz
Iz

[removed by request]

Bala
Bala

I opened this in a branch last week for the bonus, and can confirm that for the first year there is no minimum requirement of 5k balance. So you don’t need to worry about the fees for first year.

Jags4186
Jags4186

I live in NJ but not in the counties listed and was able to open online. Also, funded $2500 with Citi Double Cash it’s looking it will post as purchase.

Is there anyplace that confirms the offer? I input the 300FORME in the promo code section but then there’s nothing mentioned about it again.

Eric
Eric

If you put in an incorrect promo code the system would have told you so you should be fine.

Jonathon
Jonathon

I did this bonus last year and learned that not all online transactions count. If the transaction records as a pinless debit, they won’t count it. The bonus had not posted for several months and I contacted them (website is horrible, no way to contact them other than phone), and was told that the bonus would eventually post. Finally, after 6 months when I called in, they told me that my 30 transactions did not qualify. I then spend several months arguing with them that offer (which I had screenshots of) made no mention of this. I tracked down an exec’s email and explained the whole thing, threatening to file a complaint with CFPB (RIP). No reply from him, but the bonus appeared in my account later that week. Also, I was hit with inactivity fees and my account was frozen. They told me that there was no way to unfreeze which would allow me to make transactions online and I would have to go into a branch. Overall, terrible experience. Many, many hours wasted.

Eric
Eric

Does the website show if it’s “pinless” or not?

Jonathon
Jonathon

Forgot to mention that my year is now up and I am trying to close the account. I was annoyed that I had to call in instead of being able to close it online. Then when I called in, they said that I had to mail (not even fax) a letter to their Toms River office requesting the account to be closed. I fully expect something else to go wrong before I actually get a check a mailed to me and the account closed.

Jags4186
Jags4186

Does anyone know what will count as a debit transaction? I bought a bunch of $0.50s on Amazon (making sure to uncheck process as debit) and they all posted as “ATM withdrawal”. I then went to CVS and made extra sure to click credit and the POS terminal forced me to put my PIN in and of course that is now a “ATM Withdrawal”.

Clues?

kathy
kathy

I made 3 purchases at 3 different stores (selected credit, and even signed for one of the transactions) and they all posted as “ATM Withdrawal”. If everything posts as “ATM Withdrawal”, how can I do the 30 transactions for the $200 bonus?

Saphira2021
Saphira2021

I made transfer from Aliant CU. According to CS, this is seeing as Direct Deposit. I am not taking any chances and am also doing a payroll check, but am wondering if Aliant ACH also works.

Wei
Wei

can someone confirm what counts for valid card transactions to get $200 bonus?

Eric
Eric

It should show up as “ATM POS WITHDRAWAL”. From past experience I recall they don’t count it when you use a pin and it shows up with a different coding.

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