Posted by William Charles on November 7, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on November 7th, 2018 | by William Charles


[WI, Veterans Only] $300 First Bank Financial Centre (FBFC) Checking Bonus – No Direct Deposit Or Monthly Fees

Update 11/07/2018: Bonus is back again, this time it references veterans but I think anybody can still sign up and they will donate $50 to Veteran’s charities as well. It’s possible only veterans can get the bonus though. Update: Confirmed Veteran’s only.

Update 02/11/18: Bonus is back for 2018. Thanks to readers Matt & Sara

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $300
  • Availability: Applicable to Wisconsin residents only
  • Direct deposit required: Optional
  • Additional requirements: See below
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: $0 or avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: $20, 180 days. In addition account must be kept open for one year otherwise bonus is forfeit
  • Household limit: One
  • Expiration date: None listed

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Open any checking account with First Bank Financial Centre using the promotional code switch300 and receive a bonus of $300 when you complete two the following requirements within 120 days of account opening :
    • Three (3) of the following deposit types to post in at least three (3) consecutive months; payroll, government or pension benefits (in a single amount not less than $250 each) using either direct deposit, mobile deposit or in-branch deposit
    • Twenty-five (25) signature based; not pin based or pin-less debit, debit card transactions ($5 minimum purchase each)
    • Six (6) FBFC online bill pay transactions (excluding personal payments, minimum $25 each)
  • You can also receive a $100 bonus if you open a 15 month CD/IRA, this offers a rate of 2.61% APY. Must be opened with at least $2,500

fbfc $300 bonus

The Fine Print

  • This flyer must be presented at time of account opening.
  • This offer applies to new consumer checking and new consumer certificate of deposit account special(s) that must be opened on the same day with new money not currently on deposit at First Bank Financial Centre (FBFC).
  • Maximum incentive credit of $400.
  • Payout of $300 will be applied to qualifying new checking accounts (*) when eligibility parameters are met.
  • To receive additional incentive payout of $100, a new 15 month Certificate of Deposit Account (CD) or 15 month Individual Retirement Account (IRA) special (**) must be opened at the same time as the checking account.
  • The total accumulated cash reward will be deposited into the checking account within 135 days of account opening.
  • Qualifying Checking Account Activity: Within 120 days of account opening, two (2) out of the following three (3) options must be met and posted to the account:
    • 1) Three (3) of the following deposit types to post in at least three (3) consecutive months; payroll, government or pension benefits (in a single amount not less than $250 each) using either direct deposit, mobile deposit or in-branch deposit. Online transfers (for example ACH transfers or PayPal transactions) and cash transactions are excluded.
    • 2) Twenty-five (25) signature based; not pin based or pin-less debit, debit card transactions ($5 minimum purchase each).
    • 3) Six (6) FBFC online bill pay transactions (excluding personal payments, minimum $25 each).
  • If any owner or signer on the account has previously been an owner or signer on a different FBFC consumer checking account within the past three (3) years, FBFC reserves the right to deny this incentive.
  • Accounts with an FBFC employee as primary owner and Student Checking accounts are not eligible.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other offer.
  • If the new account becomes overdrawn within the first 135 days, FBFC reserves the right to deny this incentive.
  • If the checking account is closed by the customer or FBFC within 12 months after account opening, FBFC reserves the right to deny the incentive or deduct the cash reward for that account at closing.
  • **Qualifying CD/IRA Account Activity: A 15 month CD/IRA term must be opened with new money, not currently on deposit at FBFC. Offer applicable to consumers only. Business and Municipal money is not accepted. Stated Annual Percentage Yield (APY) effective as of 7/5/2018. $2,500 minimum to open CD/IRA to receive stated APYs.
  • Maximum new money deposit of $250,000.
  • Interest rates are subject to change without notice.
  • Early withdrawal from CD/IRA account may result in penalty.
  • FBFC will honor one (1) offer per household (physical, residential address)
  • . Applicable to consumer accounts and Wisconsin residents only.
  • The value of this offer may be reported to recipient as income. FBFC reserves the right to change or discontinue the offer at any time.
  • Offers begin 7/5/18.

Avoiding Fees

Bill Pay $6 Monthly Fee

There is a $6 monthly fee charged if you enroll in online bill pay but don’t make at least one bill pay per month. Thanks to reader Dan for pointing this out.

Monthly Fees $0

Easiest account to keep fee free is the free checking account with no monthly fee to worry about.

Early Account Termination Fee $20

This account does come with an early account termination fee of $20 if you cancel it within the first 180 days of account opening. In addition the account must be kept open for one year otherwise you will forfeit the bonus

fbfcwi early account termination fee

Our Verdict

Previously they offered the same deal, but this time the $100 savings bonus is new. I think that’s worth doing, if you deposited the $2,500 minimum you’d earn $182.82 ($82.82 from interest plus the $100 bonus). 2.61% is more than competitive as well so nothing really to be lost there. This is a great offer and we will definitely be adding this to our list of the best checking bonuse. They have offered a bonus of $200 in the past but that required a post card. If anybody signs up for this offer, please share your experiences in the comments below.

Hat tip to reader DrBooyah

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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no ability to fund by credit card when opening online. they only allow funding by bank transfer (didn’t even see an option to send in a check)

Rookie from WI here. What is a signature based debt transaction?

Guessing here, but I imagine a purchase at a store that has a receipt that you sign

Basically, it’s not a PIN (or oddly, PIN-less debit) transaction. PIN debit transactions are any in which you enter your debit card PIN such as you were at an ATM. PIN-less to my knowledge is only used online.

Presumably, signature transactions earn the bank a bit higher fee, hence the requirements for them on some bank bonuses. In any case, most small value transactions (gas stations, fast food) should work, as well as Amazon reloads (as little as 50 cents) if you follow the instructions here:

Sometimes you can run a debit card as a credit card then sign instead of entering a PIN. The bank gets more money in transaction fees if run as credit.

When you swipe your debit card, you are given the choice of debit or credit. Choose credit. That is considered a signature based transaction. If the amount is under $35, you probably wont have to sign anyway but it will still be considered a signature based transaction. If you are asked to enter a PIN after swiping, do not enter it. Just hit enter and use as credit. Or tell the cashier that you forgot what your PIN is. Then they will run through as a credit card for you.

Data point: Application rejected unless/until I lift the freeze on Chex

I assume this implies that they check ChexSystem?

I signed up and just finished the process of opening up my account. They appear to use an archaic online system from the early 2000’s. But I am all up in running. No CC funding, I chose to fund it with a pull from a different bank account. One of their Online Banking Analyst specifically emailed me info about opening up the new Free Checking account and enrolling in online banking. No hard pull on my credit.

Thanks Doc. Applied and approved.

It seems that they only allow in-branch application now? I have seen this on their website and no mention of Bank300 code…

“To open a new account and receive your $300 cash reward, please visit one of our Convenient Locations, or call us toll free at (888) 569-9909.”

Applied on 28th, got approved today. The banker’s welcome email still mentions the promo code. Strange system to set up the online account though….

Thanks for the comment!

I did also receive an email from them today saying that they are going to verify my external account for the initial deposit. Yet, there is no welcome email.

So what does your welcome email contain? Did you also receive the verification email?

“FBFC Account Funding” is the first email I got, guess you got the same thing.
Then two emails from a named banker.
one is a welcome letter, mentioning “Your promo code Bank300 has been applied to your new checking account, and will be reviewed for qualifying activity after 45 days. Qualifying activity is defined as either 5 debit card purchases or a direct deposit of $250 or more in the first 45 days.”
Another one is for account number, but you need to open the attachenment then register into a cisco messaging system to retrieve it.
Then you can register your online account…

I will I give this a go today online. I just had an online chat with them today to confirm you can stll use Bank300 to sign up for the offer online.

Does the $250 direct deposit have to be from your paycheck or will a $250 ACH from my Chase bank account work to receive the bonus?

I just tried this today ($250 ACH from Chase). I’ll let you know.

Any luck with this? And also, I assume this is an ACH from a Chase personal account?

Correct. I just spoke with a CSR and it did NOT count.

I can confirm that any non-pin transaction qualifies as a “signature-based transaction”. I asked since I ran my purchases as credit but none of the places made me sign. I called to confirm I’m good and she said “As long as you didn’t enter your pin number for the transaction then you are good.”

Thanks! Approval for me and 2 kids in WI colleges. They are so happy they may do all their banking there!

I did a online chat with them today, I asked if my I had met the requirements for the $300 offer (did a $250 paypal deposit). Chat rep stated that it “looked like I have”. Asked when I should expect the bonus and was told the account would be reviewed in mid April to see if I met the requirements, if I did the bonus would post a week after the review. I think I will do the 5 debit purchases to be safe.

the post says the ETF is for 180 days, but the screenshot says 90 days. which one is it?

Anyone has got the bonus ? If yes, please let me know how much time it took after meeting the bonus requirements.

I get the bonus 8 days after completing the 5 txns.

Thank you for the info. How are the debit card transactions coded for you? Bonus Requirement says that, they must be signature based transactions. I made the purchases and used credit card (without PIN) option while paying it. I see them coded with “SIG”, for example “XX7107 CHK PURCH SIG STARBUCKS STORE”. I hope it qualifies as a signature based transaction. If not please let me know.

yes, that’s what it looked like for me.

Apllied on 2/28
Account opened on 3/1
Bonus posted 4/18
Looks they waited for 45 day window to pass then check if you have met the requirement. If yes, the bonus is posted in 3 days
I did open the account online with code although the online application wording has gone

This is over for anyone not targeted. The link now takes you to a page asking you to bring your flyer in to a branch.

I got this easily a few months ago, then took my money out and left the account at $0.00. Today I logged in to find the account has been closed with no message. Less than six months open. No sign of any fee, though I suppose it’s possible some kind of closure notice could come in the mail. I’m in WI but not near any branches; I did it all over the web and phone.

This offer has “one offer per houselhold” restriction. My wife opened an account with FBFC last year and got the bonus. This year I am planning to apply (same address). One per houselhold restriction would apply in this case?

Same question. You try and let me know 🙂

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