Posted by Chuck on October 15, 2015
Checking Accounts

Published on October 15th, 2015 | by Chuck

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[Expired]Santander $150 Checking Account Bonus

Offer has now expired, you can view the best current bank bonuses by going here.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $150 
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, one time $500 (see what counts here)
  • Additional requirements: None
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft, see below
  • Credit card funding: Up to $500
  • Monthly fees: $5, waivable
  • Early account termination fee: No bonus if closed within 90 days
  • Expiration date: 12/31/15 

This offer is not available to current Santander customers.

The Offer

Direct Link

  • Receive $150 bonus doing the following: Open a Santander checking account, receive direct deposits totaling $500, and keep account open for 90 days.

 

You can either open the account online (and get to do the $500 credit card funding) or print out a coupon via the above link and bring it in-branch to open.

The Fine Print

  • Offer is not available on Extra20 Checking account or student account; all other accounts are eligible for the bonus, including Basic, Simply Right and Premier
  • Offer is not available to current or former Santander customers who had a Santander checking account between 10/1/2014 – 9/30/2015
  • Minimum $25 needed to open the account
  • Bonus is considered interest and will be reported to IRS on Form 1099-INT
  • One bonus per person
  • Bonus paid within 30 days after meeting all requirements
  • Offer valid until 12/31/15

Waiving Fees

This bonus is valid on the following three account types: Basic, Classic, and Premier (not on Extra20 or Student accounts).

  • Basic – This account has a non-waivable $5 monthly fee. $3 for NY and NJ.
  • Classic– This account has a $10 monthly fee. Waivable with $750 balance or $500 monthly direct deposit.
  • Premier – This account has a $30 monthly fee. Waived with $20k in combined balances.

Update 11/22/15: They’re now switching over the Classic account to be called Simply Right Checking and the $10 monthly fee is waived by making any transaction, including deposits, withdrawals, transfers or payments. Unclear if $750 monthly balance will keep the fee waived as well.

Direct Deposit Requirement

Direct deposits include deposits made by your employer or a federal or state government agency or retirement benefits administrator and generally payments made by corporations or other organizations. It does not include deposits to your Account that are made by an individual using online banking or an Internet payment provider such as PayPal.

It used to be easy to fulfill Santander’s direct deposit requirement with an ACH transfer, but they’ve cracked down on it and now not everything works.

Note that only $500 total needs to be direct deposited. The total can be a sum of multiple direct deposits. Also, you don’t need to keep doing the direct deposit after you hit the $500 requirement in order to get the bonus.

Also note that the official language leaves room for “payments made by corporations or other organizations” to count as direct deposit. They just don’t want people sending themselves money from another account. If you are an Amazon seller or get paid from your favorite shopping portal via ACH or many other things like this may work, depending how it codes.

Hard Pull

In the past, all Santander accounts have been a soft pull (confirmed many, many times). There is one report of a hard pull for this current offer. My strong guess is that the data point isn’t accurate or is an anomaly; we’ll update this post when we can confirm. Please let us know.

Our Verdict

$150 is average/good for a bank bonus and this one is even better due to the fact that there aren’t many requirements involved and it allows $500 in credit card funding as well. There is a small risk of hard pull as noted above, but hopefully we’ll get some data points on this soon to clear that up.

Here’s what I’d do if I wanted to go for this bonus:

  • Open the Simply Right Checking account (not the basic).
  • Fund it the max $500 with a Barclay or Chase card that has a cash advance limit of $0 or close to $0.
  • Do a $500 direct deposit. This will meet the direct deposit requirement and it will waive the first month’s monthly fee.
  • Withdraw most of the money and set up an automatic bill pay (to a credit card or whatever) of $1 monthly to keep the account fee-free.
  • Wait 90 days from account opening, then wait another 30 days for bonus to post.
  • Close account.

Note that if you have $1500 in monthly direct deposits, you might consider opening the Santander Extra20 account after closing this account or just skipping this bonus and doing the Extra20 right now. (You’ll get $80 over the 4 months instead of the $150 you get under this bonus. $80 is less than $150, but for the extra $70 it may not be worth it. Hopefully, this makes sense.)



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Kris
Kris

“We regret we cannot open your account and/or add your name as an owner/signer to an account with Santander Bank, N.A.

We were unable to verify your identity or other personal information at this time. Please visit a Branch to complete your application.”

I live in WA. Customer service agent is not able to manually verify my identity and he asks me to visit a branch.

Alf
Alf

I got the same error.

Glt
Glt

+1

Maysam
Maysam

Same as mine here in TX!!

Josh M
Josh M

Do you think this account could be converted to the extra20 account after recieving the bonus or would you have to close and open a new account?

Sa
Sa

When I opened my Extra20, I was told that Extra20 was not going to be offered anymore after end of October (the 20/month will go on for opened accounts just no more new accounts). Had to open in branch because the online application kept telling me that it could not verify my id.

J T
J T

When did you open the extra20? Was it hard or soft pull (or Chex)? Considering opening one of these accounts for my SO, but only without a HP.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Meh, not available to current customers. 🙁

Seems like an easy enough bonus though.

Bill
Bill

Had verification issues trying to open the Extra20 online earlier this year. They wouldn’t tell me what was wrong, but claimed they couldn’t verify my identity and I was told to go to a branch if I still wanted to open the account. In the branch, they somehow use a different process and it was approved instantly in-person.
If you apply twice in this fashion, check your ChexSystems to have the additional inquiry removed.

Eric
Eric

I’m not eligible since I have an Extra20 account. I haven’t yet earned $150 total from that account but I expect to in a few months so I’m not upset at all.

Brandon
Brandon

Can an Amex card be used to fund this account?

PN
PN

No. Only Visa/MasterCard/Discover.

Johnny D
Johnny D

so hard pull or soft pull? definitely not worth it if hard but the post has me concerned since its not 100% clear. i would assume its a soft pull but can anyone confirm now?

steve
steve

opened the account with an assoicated savings account, no fee on savings account as long as you have a checking account, was able to fund both the checking and savings with 500 for a total of 1000 towards my Barclay arrival plus (needed to meet the min spend bonus req)

i might try a transfer from my usaa account to see if it codes a direct deposit since, will post if it works

J T
J T

USAA no longer works for the extra20 account, likely the same for any Santander account. Can you confirm hard or soft pull?

Steve
Steve

i applied two days ago and no hard pull has showed up yet on my credit karma account, where else should i look to check for a hard pull

EBF
EBF

So, any thoughts on also opening an Extra20 account NOW, BEFORE completing and closing this account? I opened this one last week (still waiting for my welcome packet, etc.). I read somewhere the Extra20 account might be going away any day and wanted to get in on both, if I can.

Jay
Jay

I can’t find the classic account you are referring to which has a $10 monthly fee waivable with $750 balance or $500 monthly direct deposit.

The website shows 3 types of checking accounts, basic, premier, and “simply right checking”. Is the 3rd one what you are referring to as the classic account?

The simply right checking account monthly fee of $10 is waived “when you make any financial transaction that posts during the calendar month. Includes deposits, withdrawals, transfers or payments.” So one bill payment will waive the $10 monthly fee.

Also the list of banks that count as direct deposit for santander bank shows none. As of this moment has anyone confirmed any financial institutions that have successfully counted as direct deposit?

jack
jack

so it’s a soft pull? (I’m in VA)

William Charles

Yes it is.

Ethan
Ethan

Any recent updates on what counts as DD? I would like to not change my employer DD for this bonus. Has anyone tried transferring from an Amazon Seller Account?

M
M

Any recent cash advance data points for using Citi personal MC?

Sam
Sam

Does serve count as a direct deposit? Thanks

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