Posted by William Charles on November 16, 2019
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on November 16th, 2019 | by William Charles

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[NY] Five Star Bank – $100/$200 Checking Bonus – In Branch only

Update 11/16/19: Extended until December 31st, 2019.

Update 9/15/19: Deal is back but back down to $100/$200, better to wait for the $150/$250 deal to return. Hat tip to Dan LBR

Update 2/24/19: Deal is now back to $150/$250. Hat tip to reader EW

Update 1/5/2019: AAA account no longer available.

Update 10/23/18: AAA customers can get $150 again. Account can also be opened online.

Bonus has been reduced to $100/$200 from $150/$250. I’d wait for the higher bonus to come back.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $150/$250
  • Availability: Select counties, all in NY. Now in branch only [Branch locations]
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, no minimum specified
  • Additional requirements: None
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: None, at least in branch. Possibly up to $4,000 online
  • Monthly fees: $5-$22, avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: 180 days, bonus forfeit plus $35 fee
  • Household limit: None listed
  • Expiration date: April 30th, 2018 June 30th, 2018 for $250 bonus or December 31st, 2018 for $150 bonus December 31st, 2018 December 31st, 2019 May 31st, 2019 November 15th, 2019

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Five Star Bank has two checking bonuses currently available. Both bonuses require you to establish a direct deposit into your account within 60 days from the last day of month the account was opened
    • $200 bonus when you open a Premier Checking account in branch
    • $100 bonus when you open any consumer checking account in branch

 

 

 

The Fine Print

  • To receive the $250.00 Premier Checking account (NOW account) bonus, you must open a Five Star Bank Premier Checking account in one of our branches by 4/30/2018.
  • To receive the $150.00 checking account bonus, you must open a Five Star Bank checking account online by 12/31/2018.
  • In addition, to receive either the $250.00 or $150.00 bonus, you must establish a direct deposit into your account within 60 days from the last day of month the account was opened.
  • Your direct deposit needs to be a recurring electronic deposit of your paycheck, pension or government benefit (such as Social Security) from your employer or the government.
  • The bonus will be deposited into this checking or NOW account within 90 days from the last day of the month the account was opened.
  • The bonus may be subject to income tax and IRS reporting.
  • If the account is closed within 179 days after opening, the bonus will be forfeit; the bonus will be debited from the account at account closing and the account will be subject to the Bank’s $35.00 early account closeout fee.
  • A $25.00 minimum deposit is required to open any Five Star Bank checking or NOW account.
  • Offers not available to existing Five Star Bank consumer checking or NOW account holders, or those who have closed a Five Star Bank consumer checking account within 12 months or have had an account closed with a negative balance.
  • Business and municipal customers are not eligible.
  • Bonus is limited to one account per customer regardless of the titling on the account. Offers subject to cancellation without notice and cannot be combined with any other offer.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Early Account Termination Fee

Account needs to be kept open for 179 days otherwise the bonus is forfeit a $35 early account closeout fee is charged. If you zero out the account after receiving the bonus they will close it after two weeks and you’ll keep the bonus though according to this comment.

E-Checking Account $5 Monthly Fee ($150 Bonus)

This is the easiest account to keep fee free for the $150 bonus. It has a $5 monthly fee, but that is waived as long as you enroll in eStatements.

Premier Checking $22 Monthly Fee ($250 Bonus)

This is the account required for the $250 bonus. It has a $22 monthly fee, this is waived when you do either of the following:

  • A combined total consumer deposit accounts and/or loan balances of $25,000 or more at the end of the activity period OR
  • Direct deposits totaling at least $5,000 into the account during the activity period

Our Verdict

I don’t think the $250 bonus is worth considering because it’s much more difficult to keep the account fee, plus you need to go into branch and that’s typically a longer and less convenient way of opening an account. $150 bonus does look worth doing, only requires a recurring direct deposit and keeping the account fee free is extremely easy only requiring eStatements. Previously we’ve seen $250 bonuses that were in branch, but the easier to keep fee free accounts were eligible but they were at select new branches only. Personally I’d be jumping on this if I lived in one of the eligible counties, because of that I’ll add it to our best checking bonuses. As always please share your experiences in the comments below.

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

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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Frank
Frank

Anyone confirm if Amex works for initial funding?

Trejos
Trejos

U.S. citizen only. not even for PR alien.

JASON
JASON

“All new accounts are verified through ChexSystems.”
“The minimum amount to open an account is $25.00 with a maximum of $4000.00”

Currently we have only one DP for DD that’s from Wells Fargo. I’m not sure if this bank is inquiry sensitive so I’ll wait till end of year to try to open online.

ralph
ralph

Had nothing but terrible and painful experiences with Five Star bank …mostly due to their terrible on line banking system called Netteller and their internal antiquated business practices and processes. For me they do not meet my minimum requirements for a financial institution. Having said that the $250 bonus is attractive….and if you have $25K available…… combining the premium checking offer with one of Five Star special 8 or 13 month CDs..currently 1.8% and 2% may make sense. Not only can one avoid the monthly fee but attain an attractive return on your money especially when you include the bonus amount. .

bernie k
bernie k

Doesn’t appear to say how LONG the direct deposit needs to be ongoing. Do you think its only till the bonus appears? I don’t intend on closing the acct within 6 months and it has nice CD rates.

Nate
Nate

Yes, these language ones are usually “only till the bonus appears” if that long. Within 90 days you should get bonus posted (but must stay open for 180).

Teebee
Teebee

Language seems to have changed to require in-branch account opening even for the $150 bonus. Can anyone confirm if this is/isn’t true? https://www.five-starbank.com/banking/personal-banking/checking

JASON
JASON

Hello, DOC. You may want to update this post now as they’ve already changed their banner on the website, showing even the $150 is to be open in branch only.

Promo Dude
Promo Dude

Anyone know what works for DD? Will try a simple $25 from Vanguard

InterestedReader
InterestedReader

The entry says that up to $4,000 in cc funding is possibly allowed online. Where is the source or DP for this?

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Alright first a forewarning, I have churned this bonus twice so far but be warned you are working with a prehistoric so called “online” banking. Also to be on the safe side I would do a legit recurring DD every month they are very stringent. Also William Charles it will be helpful to add that if you zero out the balance after the bonus hits they will automatically close the account after two weeks fee free. No need to wait the full 179 days. That has how I’ve churned this twice so fast.

Gadget
Gadget

Do as you will, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If the bank starts to detect this as a recurring problem, the tide will turn.

Some banks would let the account go negative for the monthly fees and threaten to report you to EWS/Chex for being delinquent. I know for a fact Citi does this, as they improperly kept my account open after I called to close it at my 180 day mark; it accrued monthly fees that I had no knowledge of because my online access no longer showed the account & they sent me a nasty letter threatening to send it to collections well after I requested it to be closed. I got it cleared up with yet another phone call and they admitted fault in that particular case.

But, it’s also about burning bridges. If you want to go back sometime in the future for an account, they may deny you for basically any reason they see fit. But, you do you.

I have read Chase also does this, allows early closure without fees if you have zeroed the acct… and Suntrust I know closes zero balance accounts, and supposedly no ramifications. Have fun.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

The only monthly fee would be if you’re not enrolled in e-statements so I’m not sure what you mean by accuring fees and going negative? This is an archaic crappy small bank that I would never have legitment interest in. I don’t understand the need for your condescending comments and acting like you have some moral superiority over everyone. I simply shared a tip that I found useful for churning. It’s not gonna start some crazy explotation of this, this is an in branch offer with only a small amount of people actually churning this bonus. Also I’m not sure your example of Citi even relates to my original comment?

Gadget
Gadget

Citi relates, because any bank can decide to pursue the clawback of the bonus or fees when you don’t meet all the terms. In this case, it would be the early termination and the bonus, not the monthly statement fee. There is a reason why they take the time to have terms and requirements. Very possible the “archaic crappy small bank” isn’t doing any QA. If everyone does what you did, or do, I assure things will change. But, thanks for the feedback.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Back at it again with the sarcasm… We’re all here to make money why, such a hostile tone. I see your side and you should see my side. They have no legal recourse to clawback my bonus. It’s about risk tolerance I guess. I’m just trying to contribute to the DoC community why don’t we just call a truce.

Gadget
Gadget

Truce – I apologize for being a little brash. I just don’t think it’s a good precedent to set to try to zero accounts if they had it in their terms about early closure, or bonus claw backs. I think it’s bad for the future of our bonus chasing community. Yes – they are at fault for not enforcing rules they set, and your testing boundaries and willing to risk it. Good luck.

Sami
Sami

William Charles Landing page now (8/3/18) says the account must be opened online to receive the $150 Checking Bonus: https://www.five-starbank.com/banking/personal-banking/checking

Jason
Jason

Hello DOC, found this offer has changed to online only now for $150. You can find their banner on their main page.

mjonis
mjonis

It’s now $200/$100 for the bonus. Need to update the title, IMO

Joe C.
Joe C.

I attempted to sign up for this on 12/6 – the account application crashed right near the end before I was asked to fund it. When I called a few days later they said the $150 promotion expired 11/30. Weird that it was still on their website.

YK3
YK3

Didn’t see option to open account online so I emailed customer service. They said that online account opening is down at the moment but they don’t have an ETA on when it will be back. Opening by phone is not an option either. No branches in NYC so I’ll have to wait and see if the online process comes back…

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