Posted by William Charles on October 15, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on October 15th, 2018 | by William Charles


[Expired] [WI only] First Federal Bank of Wisconsin – $300 Checking Bonus

Update 11/05/18: Bonus has now expired, there is a $200 bonus but I’d just wait for the $300 bonus to return.

Update 10/15/18: Bonus is back until November 4th, 2018. Hat tip to Jeremy K. A few additional requirements are there as well.

Update 07/26/18: Bonus is back and valid until 9/9/18. Hat tip to reader Anna.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $300
  • Availability: Wisconsin residents only, must open in branch. [Branch locations]
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, recurring direct deposit of $250+
  • Additional requirements: 5 debit card transactions
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Early account termination fee:
  • Household limit: One
  • Expiration date: June 10th, 2018 September 9th, 2018 November 4th, 2018

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • First Federal Bank of Wisconsin is offering a $200 cash bonus when you open any checking account and complete the following requirements:
    • Have a recurring direct deposit of $250 or more within 90 days of account opening
    • Make 10 debit card transactions that post to the account within 90 days of account opening
    • Enroll in eStatements


The Fine Print

  • Customer must have a recurring direct deposit credit of $250 or more from a valid employer payroll/pension or government entity and five (5) debit card transactions must post to the account within 90 days of opening account to be eligible for the $300 cash bonus.
  • The cash bonus will be deposited into the checking account within 120 days of account opening.
  • Account must remain open for 120 days to be eligible for cash bonus.
  • If the account becomes overdrawn within the first 90 days, First Federal Bank of Wisconsin reserves the right to deny this incentive.
  • Minimum opening balance of $50 for all checking accounts opened with this offer.
  • Offer applies to new consumer checking accounts that must be opened with new money not currently on deposit at First Federal Bank of Wisconsin.
  • One offer per household and available to State of Wisconsin residents only.
  • Business or Consumers that have received a cash bonus offer in the last 24 months not eligible for this offer.
  • First Federal Bank of Wisconsin employees and their immediate families are not eligible for this offer.
  • Cash bonus will be reported as interest earned on IRS form 1099-INT and you are responsible for any applicable taxes.
  • Flyer must be presented at account opening to receive the bonus.
  • First Federal Bank reserves the right to deny this incentive at any time. Other restrictions may apply.
  • . Offer expires June 10, 2018.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Their freedom checking account has no monthly fees to worry about. It doesn’t mention any early account termination fee, but account needs to be kept open for at least 120 days to get the bonus.

Our Verdict

Previous bonus was $200 and required bill payments instead of debit card transactions. Definitely think this $300 bonus is better than that $200 bonus, this offer is definitely worth doing considering it’s a soft pull to open. Because of that we will be adding it to our best checking bonus page.

Big thanks to reader, DrBooyah who let us know. Learn how to find bonuses and contribute to the site here.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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Wow………looks like it’s Christmas time for folks in Wisconsin.
Four promotional bonuses in one day 🙂

Need to move to Wisconsin


Thank you, mystery fellow Badger, for this cornucopia of Wisconsin bonuses. Time to open a few accounts.

No Hard Pull for me

any CC funding?

Just opened an account today. No CC funding. I used a personal check to fund (minimum of $50 to open the account).

Same here. Also they appear to not be Chex inquiry-sensitive (if they even pull Chex) or I certainly wouldn’t have been approved.

Too bad there’s no option to open an account online or over the phone to get the bonus. Looks like there’s only Milwaukee area branches.

Just signed up for this this morning. A couple additional notes:
–I asked the banker what was meant by “recurring” direct deposit and she said i would need at least two. Not convinced this is actually the case but I’ll deposit two just to be safe
–On her desk their was a sign indicating that all new accounts pull ChexSystems.
–If the account is closed within 180 days there is a $50 fee.

I also did see the Chexsystems sign at the branch I signed up at earlier this week.

I opened an account in-branch despite having 25+ ChexSystems inquiries in the past 24 months.

Here are a couple things I haven’t seen posted yet:

– They have a referral program, though your referral would get to know all your personal information, so this should just be if you know someone else already who you can refer. If so, you can get $50 per referral:

– They also have a weird flyer where they will “buy back your unused checks and debit cards… for up to $10!”. I asked about details to this (since I have a giant amount of unused debit cards) and what “up to $10” meant, but didn’t get a straight answer. I might call to ask, but I also might not cuz it’s just $10. It’s also listed on their main checking account web page:

I opened the account in branch. Yes, they are not chex sensitive. But banker told that recurring direct deposit should keep coming in until 90 days (not 1 or 2). After 90 days, he would manually verify all the qualifying activities and post the bonus. Its not automated through the system.

That’s what I am afraid of… Don’t have a real DD…


Thank you fellow Wisconsinite!


I just went to the bank to open the checking account. I was told that in addition to the direct deposit and 5 debits card transactions, I also need to access the account online (I planned on doing online banking) AND I must download the mobile app and access my account using the mobile app. I don’t usually bank on my phone but will download the app and access the account within 90 days just to be sure.

This is building up to be a huge disappointment for everyone involved…

Bonus is back on through 09/09/18. I don’t understand why they’re offering it simultaneously with the $200 offer, but you can still find the flyer at Opened the account in branch with flyer today.

They seem aware and unhappy of churning, the banker was specifically detailing that debit transactions need to be “real” transactions (she gave some examples of grocery stores or gas stations). She also said a few things along the lines of “making sure you’re actually going to use the account.” An earlier commenter was told the bonus was manually verified and posted, this sounds like confirmation that that’s true. I’m not planning to mess around with it, I’ll split my real work DD and use the debit card for real purchases.

I wasn’t told I needed to enroll in online branch and mobile app for the bonus, but I’m doing so anyway to be safe.

A sign on the banker’s desk confirmed Chex pull.

Just wasted my time with this shit bank.

I tried opening one last week in WI (I live in Chicago but do a lot of work in WI) and was told that you have to be a WI resident to get this account.

Banker mentioned an “internal memo” detailing this but refused to open for me.

And as said below, they are super aware of bank bonus churning. I had to play dumb.

I am a Wisconsin resident but live about 2 hours away. Trying to decide if it’s worth a day trip for a couple of these and visiting some family. Not feeling great about it if they’re gonna be jerks about giving us their money though 🙁

I tried to do First Federal and the other two below while while I was there:

It would probably only take about 2 hours to do all three including driving.

Don’t waste your time.

Has anyone received 300 bonus afer opening the account?

No, but they do have 120 days…

I called last Friday, day 121 since I opened the account, to follow up on this bonus. I had done the bare minimum – five Amazon reloads, two $250 employer DDs – and I left only $100 in the account since then. I didn’t get any static for that (in fact the rep was super friendly).

I was told I should be receiving the bonus within the next 1-2 days and to follow up with him by the end of this week if I don’t see it. I’ll update when it actually posts.

A branch manager followed up with me today. They’re denying the bonus based on not fulfilling the “spirit of the offer”.

I’m going to try filing a CFPB complaint in response, but otherwise chalk this one up as a loss. He specifically mentioned that they were choosing to exercise the “we can deny this for any reason” in the terms.

I had very similar activity in the account (2 DD and ~10 debit transactions). Been 129 days since I signed up and no bonus has posted. Will be reaching out to them today to see what they have to say.

I think your best approach is probably to use the account more legitimately for a month or so before calling in. Good luck in any case, I hope they are more lenient with you!

My CFPB complaint was forwarded to the “Office of the Comptroller of the Currency”. I don’t know what they do or where to go from here, so I guess this one is gone for me. Shrug, onto the next one.

That would have been a good idea but…I had already reached out before seeing your response. I got something similar back. “As a bank, we offer promotions and incentive to gain new, long-term customer relationships. You can image the costs involved in setting up a new customer relationship in addition to paying out a $300.00 bonus. Therefore we have to set parameters to ensure that the customer is committed to a banking relationship with us.”

My response was that I was disappointed and suggested to state those measures explicitly in the promotion rather than have them applied arbitrarily after the fact

I will file a CFPB complaint as well and see where it goes.

Well how about that, my $300 posted today. I assume it’s because of the complaint, but the status still shows as “in review” when I look it up.

Good luck with yours, I hope you end up with the same result!

Terms are slightly different:

– Requires ten debit card transactions of at least $10 each (previously five with no minimum amount).
– Requires a “recurring” direct deposit rather than specifically two of them, still $250+ each.
– Requires e-statements.

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