Posted by William Charles on May 18, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on May 18th, 2016 | by William Charles

96

Seacoast Has Closed Accounts Opened Outside Of Florida For Their $200 Promotion + Your Options

Recently we reposted a $200 checking promotion for Seacoast as they were accepting nationwide applications and applying the bonuses to those accounts. Unfortunately it seems like they will not be honoring this promotion for people that signed up outside of Florida, where there branches are located.

If you log into your account, you’ll probably see the following (via Travel with Grant).

seacoast bank

How Will Funds Be Refunded?

One of the benefits of this account was that you could initially fund with a credit card. A lot of readers took advantage of this to rack up some easy no fee credit card. Some customer service representatives have stated that a check will be sent out, others have stated that funds will be refunded to a credit card if that is how the account was initially funded.

Fingers crossed they sent out the checks so that at least people were able to get $1,000 in credit card funding out of it. Personally I’ll be surprised if this happens as from a logistical stand point it would be easier just to process refunds directly back to the credit card.

What Are Your Options?

Before looking at your options, let’s have a look at the fine print of the offer itself. You can view these terms and the page (with pictures) at Way Back Machine.

*Offer valid through 6/30/16 and subject to change or withdrawal at any time without notice. May not be combined with any other offers. Valid for new Seacoast checking customers only. Not valid for Free Checking. Limit one $200 bonus per household. The new checking account must have qualifying Direct Deposit(s) credited to the account of at least $500 within the first 60 days of account opening to qualify for the $100 bonus. The new checking account must have at least 15 Seacoast debit card transactions post in the first 60 days of account opening to qualify for the other $100 bonus. The bonus will be credited to the eligible account within 65 days of opening if the aforementioned requirements are met. All account openings subject to approval and underwriting guidelines. The bonus will be reported on the recipient’s 1099INT.

**No monthly service fee when you receive E-statements and perform 7 debit card purchase transactions per monthly statement cycle OR receive E-statements and receive a direct deposit of at least $250 per monthly statement cycle. Otherwise a $7 monthly service fee will apply.

***No Fees at Publix ATM, Online and Mobile banking features not available for Personal Free Checking.  You may be charged fees by the provider of the wireless network you are using to access mobile banking and mobile deposit services.

As you can see, there are no terms about this being available to Florida only and other states were available in the drop down. In addition to this, they also processed previous applications with a drivers license ID from somebody out of state. In terms of your options you basically have three:

  1. Try to escalate the matter with Seacoast Bank, pointing out the terms of the offer didn’t include any state requirements and you applied in good faith
  2. File a complaint with the CFPB. You can view more details on this process by clicking here.
  3. Mark it down as a failed bonus and move onto another bank account bonus.

Personally I’d be doing option #3, it really does suck that they will not be honoring the promotion according to the fine print. If my account had been open for awhile and I’d completed the requirements, I would probably have recommended option #1 (followed by option #2 if that didn’t work) but at this stage I think your time will be better spent just moving on.

That being said, I wouldn’t begrudge anybody that did want to go with either of the other two options as the fine print clearly doesn’t state anything about being required to live in Florida. Let me know your thoughts in the comments about what you will be doing.



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jay
jay

What will chex system say about closure? Any negative remark from this fiasco?

NoonRadar

I would absolutely file a complain with CFPB (http://www.consumerfinance.gov/) and attach the bonus terms as a supporting document. It doesn’t take long to do that and I’m sure Seacoast will have to honor the bonus after the complaint. Also hit them online on social media.

Sorry, no love lost for the banks. They themselves set up the terms of these bonuses and rewards. If you as a consumer played by their rules you are entitled to the rewards.

I never had to file a complaint for a bank bonus, but I do always save the bonus terms in case any of them pulls something like this.

Billy
Billy

I botched a TechCU app back in Feb that I had funded $1000 with CC. They closed the account the business day following my initial application and sent me a $1000 check rather than reversing the charge. So, getting checks does happen. I got $20 in CC rebates out of it at least.

Barb
Barb

This is one of those deals I am not inclined to complain and report to CFPB. I understand this is one of the “small” banks and I know I can’t win ’em all. It’s enough for me that they refund my initial deposit either by returning funds to my CC or a check. I’m not expecting a derogatory remark on my chexsystem report and would like to keep it that way.

Ben
Ben

Any reason to think they wouldn’t honor the deal for someone living in Florida, with a FL DL, but not near a local Seacoast branch?

John
John

Already filed a complaint that they didn’t honor the terms.

Shaun
Shaun

Texas here and I’m still open. Opened with $25 from an external bank on 5/12. Maybe they’re waiting for it to clear to close me.

Carlos
Carlos

Why is it even a question about chex systems.
The mere mention of it makes me laugh.
You did nothing wrong you violated no rules.
If the bank did report you they would leave themselves wide open for litigation.

AP
AP

Small bank or not, I legitimately opened the account because I go to school in Florida, but my Drivers License and “home address” are out of state. What irked me was the complete lack of communication. I could’ve ACH pulled the funds or something. Just closing the account without notice is CFPB worthy IMO.

bob
bob

folks Seacoast has approximately $3.2 billion in assets and $2.6 billion in deposits as of June 30, 2015. Get what u can! this is not a “small” bank. They buy out the competition all the time. They have lots of cash to play with. This stunt they are pulling is sickening.

Tim
Tim

That asset size makes them the 259th largest bank in the US…they are most definitely a small bank: http://www.usbanklocations.com/bank-rank/total-assets.html

They had a promotion that was exploited – it probably was never intended to be nationwide. They have every right to decline to open out of market accounts that they feel will not be profitable to them. I’m sorry you are sickened by a company making a good business decision – but honestly the only sickening thing is your comment.

bob
bob

259th out of 6100 !! that is a LARGE bank lol get real

John
John

There are 3 kinds of banks…big banks…medium banks…and small banks.

There are about 20-25 big banks…another 75-100 or so medium banks…and after that you are small. Chase is about 600 times their size as an example.

Looking at the Dodd-Frank Act, the $10 Billion asset mark is when the an institution is subject to the CFPB regulations. I’d safely say that if you’re under $10 Billion you’re a small institution in this day and age.

PG
PG

Closed my account too. Unfortunately, I live on the west coast. If only there was a way I could afford to fly cheaply- I’d head right on over and give them a piece of my mind in person!

Don L

I’m still alive out of state – but I was part of an earlier cohort.

Opened account 03/22. Already completed ACH and debit card requirements, but no bonus post yet.

CaptainSave
CaptainSave

So what will happen the my $500 that i sent from bluebird? Its already withdrawn from my account but not posted in the seacoast account yet and now its closed?

Joshua
Joshua

What would happen when you have pending ACH transfer while they close your account? How would the money be refunded?

Joshua
Joshua

Called and the rep said the account was closed because they don’t have branch at the west coast. All funds would be returned via the source of funding. Sounds like it would be a return to the credit card if you open with credit card funding…..

Eric
Eric

I’m just curious but all of you filing a CPFB complaint what are you hoping to get out of it? If you are expecting $200 I doubt that will happen since most of you haven’t met any of the requirements. Like someone wrote I doubt they will mind this bad publicity since they only care about their Florida customers apparently.

Eric
Eric

I meant CFPB.

John
John

It is more the principle of the matter than the $200.

NoonRadar

My CPFB suggestion was implying people did meet the requirements as per Seacoast bonus terms. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense to complain.

Eric
Eric

I have no data to back this up but I’m guessing that they are only closing accounts for people that opened this after DoC reposted the other article about a week ago. I haven’t seen anyone complain about having their account closed after meeting the requirements. By your earlier post it seems you were implying that you didn’t open an account. Did you miss the deadline like me?

NoonRadar

Eric, no I was actually able to open the Seacoast account early, get the bonus via an ach push and close the account without issues.

On my comment above about CPFB I mean to say that if I was one of the consumers who opened the account, followed the Seacoast rules and fulfilled the criteria, then was denied the bonus, I would def complain. Seacoast didn’t specify on the bonus terms that this was restricted to FL residents only, therefore they are the ones in violation of their own advertised bonus terms (consumers merely followed those terms) by denying the bonus or closing accounts just not to honor their bonus. Hence the complaint is valid in my view.

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