Posted by William Charles on May 16, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on May 16th, 2016 | by William Charles

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Northpointe $50 Bonus + $50 To Charity + 5% APY Checking Account – No Bonus Requirements – DoC Exclusive

  • Maximum Bonus: $50 + $50 donation to Kids’ Food Basket
  • Interest Rate: 5.00% APY
  • Minimum Balance: none  ($100 initial deposit)
  • Maximum Balance: up to $5,000 (beyond that the rate is .10% APY)
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: Yes, see below 
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees:  None 
  • Insured: FDIC
  • Valid until: July 31st, 2016

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Open the UltimateAccount checking account at Northpointe Bank with the promotional code DOC and receive the following:
    • Receive a sign up bonus of $50 if the initial deposit is $100 or more, Northpointe will also donate another $50 to Kids’ Food Basket
    • Receive an APY of 5% on balances of up to $5,000 and ATM refunds (up to $10 per month) when you complete the following requirements each statement cycle:
      • Be enrolled in eStatements
      • Use your debit card to make 15 or more purchases per month in the amount of $500 or more
      • $100 or more in direct deposits or automatic withdrawals per month

Any portion of the balance which is above $5,000 will earn an interest rate of .10%. (The first $5,000 will still earn the full 5% interest.)

doc exclusive 50

The Fine Print

  • Valid until July 31st, 2016
  • $100 minimum deposit must be received within 30 days of account opening
  • Bonus will be paid out within 30 days of initial funding
  • Accounts must be kept open for at least 120 days or there is an early withdrawal penalty (forfeiture of bonus)
  • This offer is limited to one per household (tracked by address)
  • Customers that have been paid an Ultimate Account bonus within the past 365 days are not eligible.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Funding the Account

The bank requires an initial funding of at least $100. The funding can only be done via ACH transfer from your existing checking or savings account, so be sure to have the routing/account numbers handy at the time of application. They do not allow funding with a credit or debit card.

Avoiding Fees

This checking account does not come with any monthly fees or any fees at all. There is a dormant monthly fee of $5 if the account has no activity for twelve months or more.

ATM Fee Waiver

Not only is the account fee-free, they’ll actually reimburse you for up to $10 in ATM fees charged by the ATM owner. (Northpointe themselves will never charge you any ATM fees from their end.)

This is a really nice benefit of having this account as you can always fall back on it to withdraw money at any ATM nationwide (or even internationally, perhaps) and get the fees reimbursed. Since you’ll already have $5000 in the account, you won’t have to worry about making sure the account has funds which you can withdraw.

Meeting The Debit Card Requirement

This is probably the most difficult part of getting the 5% rate, as you need to make 15 or more purchases that total $500 per month. If you put that on a credit card earning 2% cash back, you’d earn $10 per month (you’d be earning ~$20 per month from the interest, but there are other high interest accounts out there).

Meeting the Deposit/Withdrawal Requirement

The direct deposit requirement is pretty typical, but here they gave us more leeway and allowed an automatic withdrawal as well. The main goal here, apparently, is that you should actually use the account and not just park $5000 in it, so they’re okay as long as they see some regular account activity such as a direct deposit or automatic withdrawal of $100.

Based on my correspondence with the bank:

  • The $100 withdrawal requirement can be fulfilled, for example, by making a $100 credit card payment, initiated by the credit card.
  • Making ACH transfers from another bank account may work in many cases to fulfill the requirement of a direct deposit, but it can vary by the bank as to whether it gets coded as a direct deposit.

Making an ACH withdrawal should probably work in any case since that doesn’t require a special ‘direct deposit’ coding to qualify. Thus, it should work for you to just have an automatic transfer of $100 from your regular checking account to your Northpointe account and another transfer back. Even if the transfer to the Northpointe account would not come up as a ‘direct deposit’, the subsequent withdrawal should presumably be considered an automatic withdrawal and suffice to make you eligible for the 5% interest rate.

Our Verdict

Thanks to Northpointe for agreeing to do this bonus, normally they give a $50 sign up bonus and $50 to the blog owners but we agreed to give our $50 to the Kids’ Food Basket charity, who help make sure kids are well nourished. Northpointe did offer a $100 sign up bonus in the past and it’s possible that’ll come back, but it depends on how active those customers that signed up are and if it makes sense from Northpointes perspective – I wouldn’t expect it to come back in the short term.

This is a pretty good bonus as there are no requirements and you also get a 5% account, there are other 5% accounts out there that are easier to get the 5% rate on so you might want to investigate those first. There are also other bank accounts with a higher sign up bonus.

I’d recommend this account for people that want/need another 5% account and also want a small sign up bonus. Thanks again to Bill Clancy and his team for putting this together.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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Must the purchase be a credit transaction?

Matt
Matt

Nope. It can be a PIN debit transaction, unlike most other rewards checking accounts out there, so that’s nice.

Dave P
Dave P

For the ATM reimbursement, are you only eligible for that benefit if you’re completing the 15 debit card transactions per month, or is that a base benefit that’s available for everyone, whether you’re jumping thru the hoops or not? Thanks!

Chuck

Yup, I think you need to meet the qualifications for the ATM part too.

Franklin's Dad
Franklin's Dad

Because of the debit card transaction requirement, this account is not a 5% APY account at all. As you said, you’re forgoing $10/month (2% back on $500 purchases), which over the course of a year is $120, or 2.4% of $5,000. So your effective interest rate is 2.6%, but it gets worse — you have to pay taxes on the entire 5% interest earned from the bank account.

And none of this takes into account the time and hassle required every month to make a grand total of $130 (not including the double tax rate you’ll pay on it).

Abe
Abe

Will,

I opened an account with this bank on the basis of your last post.

It’s been two months but they haven’t sent out my debit card despite countless emails and calls.

I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone if they cant simply send out a debit card in two months.

Jeff
Jeff

Bill Clancy must be a glutton for punishment (meant as a compliment).
I doubt his team has had a chance to recover from the last promotion.

Bill Clancy

Thanks for the kind words, Jeff!

Many banks have poor reputations, and it’s often deservedly so. I hope folks outside Northpointe view us differently. If you consider our product offerings (a 5.00 APY% free checking account), marketing strategy (pay the customer via new account bonuses vs. an ad agency to run TV, radio or billboards) and customer service (direct to consumer responses like these), we’re a very different type of financial institution.

We’re human so we can’t be perfect. But organizations are only as good as their people and policies, and we believe we act differently and better than our ‘competitors.’

Jeff
Jeff

NORTHPOINTE CLOSED MY ACCOUNT! I tried to login today, and found my account closed. After receiving the $100 DOC promotion, I haven’t used the account since mid-April ($0 balance). I had been waiting a few months before moving my money over. Bill Clancy and everyone else mentioned dormancy would not come into effect until 12 months! Chatted with representative who said was closed after 30 days with $0 balance. This is outrageous. Nowhere in the terms does it mention this. Waiting for a call from a supervisor. Has anyone had a similar experience? Check your logins people.

JJ-Na
JJ-Na

This is available until 7//31/16

Extended!!!

Chuck

Thanks JJ, updated the post

Virginian
Virginian

Jeff – turns out it was actually in the end of page 8 here.
http://www.northpointe.com/wp-content/uploads/Universal-TC_01-2015.pdf
“Specific to checking accounts – we reserve the right to close your account without prior notice following 30 consecutive days of no activity and a $0.00 balance.”

I found out my account was auto-closed too for having a $0 balance for 30 days. They said that no dormancy / early account fees were assessed. I just wonder does it look bad on a Chex report to have the bank close the account for you?

Jeff
Jeff

It doesn’t look bad. Also, I believe they added that in recently after the backlash. The CSR I spoke to on the phone said she was going to try to get it added into the terms.

Chris
Chris

Just an FYI I got notice they just changed the apy to 3.36 %

Chuck

I’m still seeing 5% http://www.northpointe.com/

Bill Clancy

Hi Chris,

Our rate and terms have *not* changed.

Is the notice an email from Mint.com? If so, it’s something we’re aware of and working on — the issue is how Mint interprets our data through its Online Banking data collection technology. However, a quick click through to our site can confirm we’ve not changed anything. 🙂

http://www.northpointe.com/banking/personal-accounts/ultimateaccount/

Sincerely,

Bill Clancy, Northpointe Bank

chris
chris

great to hear. thanks for the info.

Chris
Chris

Bill I did have a new question for you. I logged into my account last night being September 1st everything starts over for the new month and it showed my apr at 3.67% as of last night. Does that apr change as I make purchases? Thanks

Logan
Logan

Does anybody know of an easy way to make a minimum of 15 debit card purchases totalling $500 monthly?

Seems like this the deal breaker for me. Couldn’t they have just made it like 15 debit card purchases, minimum $2 per transaction or something?

Bill Clancy

Hi Logan,

The minimums are in place specifically to prevent $2 per transaction purchases. The average card purchase in the U.S. is around $35 per transaction. Accounts used in an “average” manner is what allows us to afford paying up to 5.00% APY on a checking account. If someone chooses to use us as their primary checking account, it’s usually an easy hurdle to clear. If the qualifications result in someone determining it’s not a fit for her/him, that’s probably best for them and us.

Please post again if any other questions!

Sincerely,

Bill Clancy, Northpointe Bank

Chris
Chris

Hey Logan I just go to the store once a week that takes up almost all of it plus other transactions. I make sure to do my 15 transactions as soon as possible and then have another account that pays 3% for 12 debit transactions but doesn’t have a minimum amount to spend each month. It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

FB
FB

Although I’m not someone looking to make a bunch of $1 – $2 transactions, I do feel that the $500 total is quite high. If this were a $200 requirement, I could justify opening an account here.

Pablo
Pablo

A little bit late but FYI
http://www.northpointe.com/wp-content/uploads/Northpointe-Bank-Fee-Schedule-June-2016.pdf

Looks like they charge $10 if you close your account early (within 120 days of account opening)
Effective since June 20th, 2016.

Not sure if this means that it’s now a forfeiture of your bonus and $10 or just $10 charge without a forfeiture of the bonus.

Bill Clancy

Hi Pablo,

Yes, that’s correct but not new. What applies to the Promo Offer is spelled out on the DoC promo page here: https://www.northpointe.com/doctor-credit-exclusive-offer/ — if you close within 120 days of account opening, you forfeit the bonus amount (or, if you’ve already withdrawn the bonus amount, we’ll debit your account for that amount).

Sincerely,

Bill Clancy, Northpointe Bank

JASON
JASON

Hello DOC, I just see this post today. Wanted to let you know credit card/debit card funding is YES. But not sure if it is going to be coded as purchase, account open today pretty quick. Credit card pending, will advise once posted.

JASON
JASON

Citi Double Cash posted as purchase

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