Posted by Arielle Bianchimano on October 3, 2014
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on October 3rd, 2014 | by Arielle Bianchimano

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[YMMV] Secret $200 Wells Fargo Checking Bonus

Update 3: Looks like this offer has expired. I called a few different Wells Fargo branches asking about it, saying I had an ATM receipt and they all apologized and stated it expired on the 15th of December. If you’ve been able to get the bonus since then please let us know in the comments.

Update 2: This offer was due to expire on the 15th of December, it might still be valid but make sure you get confirmation when you open the account (as well as a reference number and the name of the person who verified it was still active). If you have any personal experiences, let us know in the comments at the end of this post.

Update: You shouldn’t actually need the ATM receipt, if you go into a Wells Fargo branch and quote the code “ATMPLS” you should be able to get this offer applied to your account, just say you lost your receipt.

Why is this Wells Fargo checking bonus a secret? Well, you would never know about it unless you happened to be getting cash out of a Wells Fargo ATM with another bank’s card. But now that you know, you can head over to your local Wells Fargo and get yourself targeted to receive $200.

The Offer

  • Maximum bonus amount: $200
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: Choice of $500 direct deposit or 10 debit card purchases
  • Additional requirements: Must be a new checking customer and not have received a cash bonus in the past 12 months
  • Hard/soft pull: No
  • Credit card funding: No, account must be opened in branch
  • Monthly fees: $10-30, all waivable
  • Early account termination fee: none listed
  • Expiration date: December 15, 2014

To receive this offer you will need to use a Wells Fargo ATM with another bank’s debit card. By using an alternate banks card, you will trigger a screen that says “What would you do with $200 ?”.

Tap the “Print Offer” tab to print out the offer you can take into the branch.

photo (1)

This is what the print out says:

Receive $200 for opening a new Wells Fargo consumer checking account

To qualify for the bonus you must:

1.Be a new consumer checking customer and present this ATM bonus offer coupon to the banker at the time of opening the checking account.

  1. Certify your U.S. taxpayer identification number (W-9) is signed and dated and on file with Wells Fargo.
  2. Open and fund an eligible consumer checking account with a minimum opening deposit of $50 (not including the bonus) from September 8, 2014 to December 15, 2014 and
  3. Within 60 days of opening and funding your checking account, either make 10 debit card purchases or establish a qualifying direct deposit.

 

 

The Fine Print

Avoiding Fees

My favorite thing about this bonus is it works with any consumer checking account, so you can pick the one that is right for you. All the accounts have fees, but they can be waived. Here’s how:

Everyday Checking

A basic checking account for everyday banking needs

Fee: $10  Note: $5 monthly service fee discount when the primary owner is 17-24 years old

Waive the fee with 10 debit card purchases/payments or other options.

Preferred Checking

An interest-earning checking account that includes the benefit of a bundled savings account

Fee: Checking: $13 with online-only statements or $15 with paper statements

Waive the $13 monthly service fee with online-only statements ($15 with paper statements) on your Preferred Checking account when you open it as a complete package4 and have one of the following:

  • Maintain $10,000 in combined minimum deposit balances, OR
  • Have a linked Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

PMA® Package

A checking account for higher balance with our best rates, discounts, and fee waivers when linked to your PMA Package along with other Wells Fargo accounts

For each month that one of the following requirements in statement-ending combined balances is met, you’ll avoid the $30 monthly service fee:

  • $25,000 or more in qualifying linked bank deposit accounts (checking, savings, CDs, FDIC-insured IRAs), OR
  • $50,000 or more in any combination of qualifying linked banking, brokerage (available through Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC), and credit balances (including 10% of mortgage balances, certain mortgages not eligible)

 

Can you fund with a Credit Card ?

I asked the banker if credit card funding was possible in branch, and was told that wasn’t an option. Later, I tried to create an account online for my husband to take advantage of up to $1,000 ($500 checking/$500 savings) in credit card funding, but there was no place to enter the promo code. So to take advantage of this offer you will have to forgo the ability to fund the account with a credit card.

Our Verdict

First of all this checking bonus is very easy to qualify for. No high minimum balances or direct deposit requirements. You can literally, go to to self checkout right after (they give you a temporary debit right then and there) and buy 10 items in separate transactions to complete the bonus requirements.  I have my mortgage with Wells Fargo, so I automatically get the preferred checking account free, but even the Every Day account is fairly easy to avoid fees on. I would highly recommend this offer to anyone for who is looking for a very simple and easy to complete bonus, or to build a banking relationship with Wells Fargo.

For me personally, I couldn’t have received this checking offer at a better time.  You see, I am currently enjoying my 5% cash back on grocery, drugstore, and gas purchases that you get for the first 6 months after opening a Wells Fargo Visa Signature card. Once you have the ability to get 5% back in all those bonus categories it can be hard not to want to spend more than your credit limit. The frustrating thing about Wells Fargo is they hold your available credit hostage FOREVER after payment. Well maybe its more like a week, but it certainly feels like forever. The only way turn your available credit quicker, is to pay in branch with cash or transfer from a Wells Fargo checking account. Both of those methods will clear up available credit instantly. So every time I would pay in cash, the teller would tell me I should open a checking account, and I was about to do it just for the convenience factor. But I hate opening accounts without a bonus….So one day I was pulling a little cash out of my USAA account at a Wells Fargo ATM, to go pay down my credit card, and this great little offer came across the screen. I felt like I had won the lottery. And I kind of did, since I was getting paid $200 for something I was going to do anyway.

 

 



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Andy
Andy

Do you have to actually withdraw cash and eat the $3 fee for this offer to show up?

Arielle Bianchimano
Arielle Bianchimano

I have a USAA debit card that reimburses all ATM fees, which is why I was using it in the first place. But if recall correctly, the offer screen flashed before you had to complete the withdrawal.

Jon
Jon

Seems this may be targeted or location based, I received an offer for $100 without the option of 10 debit transactions, only direct deposit. Tried two different locations using my Schwab debit card to waive atm fees. May try asking the banker to use the code ATMPLS without a receipt.

Arielle Bianchimano
Arielle Bianchimano

I would definitely give that a try. When I brought the print out into the branch, it was the first they had heard of it, so they didn’t have anything to go of besides the printout with the code.

Miles to Memories

I went today and the offer was only for $100 after a direct deposit. (No option for 10 debit transactions.) Is there any way you could possible let me know the code printed so I can try for the $200 in branch. I have a suspicion that it is the same as the $100 code, but with a 200. Thanks!

Arielle Bianchimano
Arielle Bianchimano

In the last line under the Fine print section is the code ATMPLS. The offer and fine print is word for word what the print out said. I am in PA and repeated this twice at different ATM’s in my area, but I can’t say for sure how targeted this deal is. It looks like a lot of people are only getting the lesser offer.

Sean
Sean

I’m not sure this is actually nationwide, when I went to my local ATM to w/d from my chase account and get the offer, they only offered me a $100 bonus for opening checking. This ATM was in a Safeway; I’ll be trying again at an actual bank location to see if I can get better luck.

Portland, OR

Jon
Jon

Update: Called in and was told by the teller all they needed was the code not the actual receipt. After opening the account she tried adding the code, though whomever she was speaking to on the phone said it may have been expired/they couldn’t locate it. Long story short the manager of the branch told me they would track it down and to just make the 10 transactions within the month and see if it posts. They said they’d be in contact after 30 days to follow up. YMMV. Fingers crossed this works out.

Arielle Bianchimano
Arielle Bianchimano

Great to hear that they were willing to work with you! According to my receipt, the offer is good until 12/15/14.

Eddy
Eddy

So this was a total clusterf**k (no offense, William).

It turns out the offer is targeted, so the code ATMPLS is likely single use. Many people receive a $100 offer. I asked them to honor the $200 offer. Banker had to speak to manager, and then call the back office. It took about 50 min total! In the end, they would not approve the richer offer. And they said they couldn’t just credit the me difference. The best part is, the 100 offer requires a DD ONLY. Cannot get away with debit trx for promo!!! And they opened a savings acct wo/my permission! Really shameful customer service. I literally said “Cut the sh**” to the banker and she asked me to watch my language. I am livid! If this is how they treat their new customers, I’d hate to think of how they treat their existing ones! Needless to say, I’ll be filing formal complaints.

As always, YMMV 😉

William Charles

Sorry things didn’t work out as expected. I’ve added a little disclaimer to the top of the post so people know it might not go as expected. I don’t think being hostile and swearing at a customer service representative is the right thing to do (and likely won’t get you the desired outcome). Kill them with kindness.

P.S This article was written by Arielle, I signed up for a $100 offer earlier in the year.

Eddy
Eddy

Well, I didn’t scream it or anything 😉 Basically, she was like “rules are rules, this is how promos work” for the umpteenth time and I said “Let’s cut the shit. I’m not retarded. I’m asking for you to make an exception since I came here in good faith to use the $200 promo and already spent 3 dollars on your ATM.”

I don’t appreciate people talking down to me or making excuses. I used a swear word but I certainly wouldn’t say I swore at her!

You are correct in classing me as hostile. I did threaten to report her and supervisor to OCC, etc. They would not budge. The first 20 minutes were kindness, the last 30 were polite hostility. I even said “I will include the fact that you opened a savings account in my name without my permission in my formal complaints. Is this an incentive for you to offer me the richer promo?” No luck!

Think of me what you want, but that’s some crappy customer service! I asked them to bend the rules and they wouldn’t. I have every right to be upset. In fact this rant has given me the motivation to draft my OCC, BBB, AG, and EO complaints 🙂

Patrick
Patrick

Tried today to use the other bank debit card and didn’t withdraw any money. No offer was shown on the screen. I am not sure whether you need to take cash out to trigger that, or the offer is regional.

John
John

So I got the 100 offer but fine print showed I CAN make 10 debit card transactions to get it on a checking account. They tried to get me to add a savings account by asking how I wanted the savings account set up rather than if I wanted a savings account. Politely refused twice. I will likely just get the bonus and run since I feel they were trying to silver tongue me into a savings account that I didn’t ask for. This is the cost of having to go into the branch I guess is the up-sell. Thanks for the heads up on the deal!

mike
mike

Tried in Moline IL – 100 offer with 10 debits okay to trigger, tried in bettendorf ia, same thing.

Ny
Ny

Just got the $100 offer and signed up. I also got a free USB power block, which was nice.

William Charles

Did they just offer the power block or was it included in your ATM print out?

Ny
Ny

It was on the banker’s desk, like a promotional writing pad. I didn’t think you could stack them and didn’t ask about it as it wasn’t on the receipt. But he mentioned it and gave it to me. Might be a regional thing (AZ). I used it the other day and it’s pretty sweet. I already had some heavy duty ones for travel, but this is nice to have just in case for everyday.

houstonmama
houstonmama

I received the $100 offer in Houston, Texas with debit transactions qualifying.

Andrew
Andrew

With this setup, can I use the original 50 dollar deposit or do I have to keep that in the bank

Jonathan
Jonathan

I also received the $100 offer. I withdrew $20 from a shwab account with under $1 in it. I wonder if it matters how much money you withdraw, or how much money you have in your account. William or Arielle can you fill us in as to those details? Perhaps thats the trigger (if you have lots of money in your account maybe they target you with a higher offer)?

Jonathan
Jonathan

*$1k not $1 😀

Jonathan
Jonathan

Or, maybe you can confirm that its bank location specific (i.e. if you go to that same bank, and try to withdraw again from a diffferent account, see if you still get the $200 offer, in which case its probably bank specific)

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