Posted by William Charles on September 25, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on September 25th, 2018 | by William Charles


[Expired] [WI + IL Only] North Shore Bank $300 Checking Bonus – Direct Deposit Optional

Deal has expired, view more bank account bonuses here.

Update 10/02/18: Valid until November 7th, 2018

Update 09/24/18: Bonus is back and available until September 30th, 2018. Hat tip to reader CorvetteLynnie.

Update 06/09/18: Deal is back and available until July 31st, 2018

Deal is back and available until May 31st, 2018. Thanks to reader DrBooyah.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $300 ($20 per month)
  • Availability: Must live, work, attend school or have immediate family in Wisconsin or Northern Illinois. Looks like you need to live close to a branch, otherwise they will open the account and then e-mail you later saying it’s closed. Read comments for more details.
  • Direct deposit required: Optional
  • Additional requirements: 10 debit card transactions or a direct deposit
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft 
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: None 
  • Monthly fees: $4.95+, waive-able
  • Early account termination fee: $40 if closed within 180 days of account opening
  • Household limit: One
  • Expiration date: March 31st, 2018 May 31st, 2018 July 31st, 2018 September 30th, 2018 November 7th, 2018

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • North Shore Bank is offering a bonus of $300 when you open a new checking account with the promotional code “OCTOBER SPECIAL“. Bonus is broken down as follows:
    • You receive a monthly $20 bonus when you either have 10 qualified debit card transactions or a direct deposit for that statement credit. You can receive this bonus for 14 months, starting the May 2018 statement
    • You receive a $20 mobile deposit bonus when you complete a mobile deposit that posts to your account by 11/07/2018

The Fine Print

  • New personal households only.
  • One new customer incentive bonus per household every 24 months.
  • Debit card or direct deposit bonus of $20.00 will be credited to the new checking account each month after your statement cycles for up to 14 months provided you have had 10 qualified debit card transactions or a direct deposit for that statement cycle.
  • ATM transactions will not qualify.
  • Direct deposit must be payroll, Social Security, pension or other government benefits.
  • Fees may be applied and could reduce earnings.
  • Offer available until 9/31/2018.
  • New checking bonus will begin with the July 2018 statements.
  • To receive the $20.00 mobile deposit bonus a mobile deposit must be posted to the account by 6/30/2018.
  • For tax purposes, a 1099 form may be issued. When opening online use promo code May Special. Visit for details.

Avoiding Fees

Monthly fees are waived on all of their accounts for the first three months. If you close your account within 180 days of opening they will charge you an early account termination fee of $40.

eChecking $4.95 Monthly

This is waived with debit card usage and eStatements or direct deposit (wages or social security) and eStatements.

Better-Than-Free $4.95 Monthly

This is waived with an average balance of $750 or $2,500 in relationship balances or any loan or direct deposits or 10 debit card transactions.

Our Verdict

In the past they have offered bonuses of up to $150. That bonus didn’t have any bonus requirements, where as this bonus has requirements each month for 14 months. That being said this bonus is $300 vs $150 and meeting debit card transaction requirements shouldn’t be too difficult for most people. It’s nice that keeping the account fee free is also quite easy (having $750 on deposit). Personally I do think this $300 bonus is worth doing, because of that I will be adding it to the list of the best checking bonuses.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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Good deal. Thanks!

Sad DP: You have to reside in specific counties in IL or WI (close to a branch).

I live in WI and my account was approved and then immediately closed.

Similar DP. I am in Chicago and was able to open the account. Half an hour later, I got an email stating my account has been closed because I’m outside of their area.

just go the same email as well, also Chicago

dupage county>?


I got this also. I live in mid Wisconsin.

Thanks Dan! Appreciate the heads up.

Hey Josh, did you give this one a go with out of state?

What constitutes a qualified debit card transaction? $1 GC from Amazon?

Should work, although I would vary them a bit in case you ever have to contact customer service. I’ve also used the Square cash app. You can also pay a lot of cell phone or TV bills in small amounts at a time.

Any word on a minimum amount for the DDs?

I called the bank and tried to negotiate my way in as i live in Central Illinois. Person i spoke with said it’s County specific and says you have you live in a county where they have a branch….bummer

The link brings up a 404 error now anyway, but sad as it appears North Shore bank is predominantly in eastern WI (near MKE)


Sadly, it expired on March 31


This is definitely only certain areas. You need to reside, work or have immediate family in one of these counties in WI or Northern IL: Brown, Calumet, Dodge, Door County, Fond Du Lac, Jefferson, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, McHenry, Milwaukee, Oconto, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Shawano, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Winnebago

It disqualifies a lot of folks, including me

To add to that, I applied yesterday and marked that I have family living in the area during the application process. They still sent me an email today saying I do not live in their target area, and so they’ll be closing my account and refunding my transfer (after 10(!) business days). Bummer.

This deal is back, but only until 6/17/18, and it’s only for $200 total now. Not sure it was worth mentioning, but just FYI. It seems like this is renewed pretty often, and I’d expect the $300 deal to come back

PSA: Debit Card transactions must be at least $1 minimum to count towards monthly bonus

Acct opened 3/22
Mobile Deposit on 3/27
10 x $1 Amazon GCs purchase on 3/27
10 x $1 Amazon GCs purchase on 4/13
$20 Bonus Posted for Mobile Deposit requirement 5/16
10 x $1 Amazon GCs purchase on 5/23
$20 Bonus Posted for April Debit card purchases (was told monthly bonus starts with the April activity)

I’ll keep doing this for the next 13 months. Obviously a PITA to have to buy these every month, but for 90 secs of work, I get $20 cash (Amazon GCs are same as cash to our household)

Do not even try opening an account if you are not in the area. They will immediately close it.

I’m in the middle of this bonus sending my ~$80/week 2nd job direct deposits. I’m really surprised more banks dont do it this way to prevent quick closures.

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