Posted by William Charles on February 5, 2015
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on February 5th, 2015 | by William Charles

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[Expired][TX, CO, UT Or Military Member Only] SSFCU $10 Per Debit Card Transaction Bonus ($200 Limit)

Update: Just received an e-mail from SSFCU: ” it is limited only to those members who financed a car through SSFCU at a dealership during the promotional period and have met certain eligibility criteria; it is not open to general public”. I’ve marked it as expired because of this. If you’ve already signed up, it’s worth fighting for the bonus as there was no language on the original offer that states that this is a targeted bonus.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $200
  • Availability: TX, CO, UT Or Military Member Only, more information here.
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: Every debit card transaction earns $10, up to $200 limit
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees: $0-$5, waive-able 
  • Early account termination fee: Bonus will be forfeit and a $25 fee charged if closed within 90 days
  • Expiration date: None listed

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Receive a $10 bonus for each debit card swipe (limit of $200) in the first 75 days when you open a Security Service Power Checking account.

ssfcu checking bonus

The Fine Print

  • Offer valid for new accounts only
  • Swipes do not include ATM transactions, returns or any checks that access your account or overdraft advances
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Membership Requirements

Membership requirements are quite strict, you have the following options:

  • Live, work, worship, attend school, volunteer, or your business is located in select areas of Texas (San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi), Colorado (Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder, Broomfield), or Utah (Salt Lake and Utah counties) or
  • Be a member of select military branches/units or a Department of Defense employee at specific military bases within our service areas
  • Have a family member (spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, step and adoptive relationship)

Rewards Checking Account

In addition to the $10 bonus per swipe, the debit card is also a rewards earning debit card. You get to choose out of two rewards programs:

  • 10¢ cash back every time you swipe your debit card or
  • 1 point for every $2 spent on signature purchases

Points are basically worth 1¢ a piece when redeeming for merchant gift cards. So your average purchase would need to be over $20 for the second option to be the best. You can read more about the rewards program here.

Avoiding Fees

Monthly Fees

The monthly fee depends on which reward option you choose:

  • 10¢ per swipe: No monthly fee
  • Reward points: $2 monthly, waived if you have an active SSFCU credit card

If you opt for paper statements on either account, you’ll be charged a $3 fee.

Early Account Termination Fee

If you close your account within 90 days of being opened, you will forfeit the bonus and will have to pay a $25 fee.

Our Verdict

Update: Opening this account and joining the credit union seems to be a soft pull. Go for it!

This looks to be a very easy bonus to complete, my only concern would be that it is a hard pull to open or become a member. Even if it was, it still might be worth it as $200 is competitive when compared to cash credit card bonuses (although keep in mind you’ll need to pay taxes on this checking bonus).

If you need some inspiration on how to easily and cheaply generate 20 debit card transactions, I’d recommend reading this. If I lived within the service area and I could confirm this was a soft pull, here is what I’d do:

  • Open checking account, opting for the 10¢ bonus version
  • Opt for paperless statements
  • Make 20 debit card purchases (I’d earn $202 for doing this)
  • Keep account open for at least 90 days to avoid early account termination fees
  • Withdraw my funds and bonus
  • Close account

If the customer service was good, I’d probably consider keeping the account for the rewards debit card – but that would depend if there were inactivity fees and the like as well. SSFCU also offers a credit card that earns 3.3x points on all travel, dining & gas purchases. You can read more about this card here.

I’d recommend this bonus as long as it’s a soft pull, I don’t think it’s worth it if it’s a hard pull. Because it is only very regionally available, we haven’t added it to our best bonus list. But it has been added to our state specific checking bonus list.

Direct link to offer

Hat tip to reader Michelle


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