Posted by William Charles on February 2, 2017
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on February 2nd, 2017 | by William Charles

112

[YMMV] First Merchants Bank $200 Checking Promotion [IL, IN, OH]

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $200
  • Availability:  Used to be nationwide, now restricted to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, $50+ 
  • Additional requirements: Six non pin based debit card transactions
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull 
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: Yes, up to $250 with a Visa or Mastercard
  • Monthly fees: Avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: $50, 180 days (account must also be open when bonus is received)
  • Expiration date: March 31st, 2017 
  • Household limit: One per household per year

The Offer

No direct link to offer, has been sent out via mail but has a generic code. YMMV as always with this type of thing. Bank website here.

  • Open a new First Merchants checking account and receive a bonus of $200 when you complete the following:
    • Present the flyer in branch or use the promotional code CK200 online (or call toll-free at 1.800.205.3464)
    • Receive at least one direct of at least $50 within 60 days of account opening
    • Receive FMB debit card and make at least six non-pin based transactions that are processed within 60 days of account opening
    • Account must be in good standing when the above conidtions are met

first merchants bank

The Fine Print

  • Bonus will be credited within two statement cycles of requirements being met
  • Valid until March 31st, 2017
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

There is an early account termination fee of $50 if the account is closed within 180 days of account opening. The easiest account to keep fee free is the eChecking account. This has no fee when you enroll in eStatements. Make sure you keep some money in the account otherwise it’ll be closed.

Our Verdict

I’d jump on this offer if there was an online landing page, but unfortunately there isn’t. I’m not that confident that everybody will end up getting their bonus even though the code is generic, I imagine they only sent these codes out to those in select areas of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio so they might try to restrict it based on that (note, you have to be in one of those states now so that’s less of an issue). With that being said I am always risk adverse when it comes to these types of promotions (especially since I want to make readers fully aware of the risk of not getting any bonus). Because of this I haven’t added it to the list of the best checking bonuses.

Big thanks to reader y3ll0wsubmarine who let us know. Please consider sharing bank bonuses with this site so we can make it even better.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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EO
EO

I was able to open this account online. The website is wonky but when I clicked apply online on my ipad, I was able to do it (scroll all the way down). There was then a box to input the promotional code. Thanks again for all you do for this community.

SD
SD

EO, which state are you in?

EO
EO

IL

EO
EO

I am in IL.

Tim
Tim

EO, are you in the Chicago area?

EO
EO

Yes, Chicago.

Ferris
Ferris

So it’s any of their checking accounts? They have so many lol

Gadget
Gadget

I decided to jump in – I am out of their footprint in VA. Funniest question on the application: “Banking References. List name(s) of former and/or other current financial institutions:” I listed 4 I know are on my Chex report. Didn’t want to just list one and sound shady, but also didn’t have room for many.

At the end of application, it spits out a account confirmation report with your account number and routing #. However, it says “Thank you for completing your new account application. Your application is currently under review.” Says it takes up to 3 business days to get access to the account, and to expect notification via e-mail.

CSP shows “FIRST MERCHANTS BANK OLB”, purchase pending.

Gadget
Gadget

Correction: online access takes up to 3 bus. days. Online access requires an additional sign-up application (link is on confirmation report). You will need your account number from the confirmation. Also, that online banking application does not like Chrome – had to use IE.

JOHN
JOHN

Can we deposit money orders on their mobile app?

Adam D
Adam D

Most likely not, small regional banks dont usually offer any frills, only bank I know of now that does is WELLS FARGO which also has a current promotion.

Adam D
Adam D

Their locations in Illinois are south, and southwest suburbs of chicago and joliet (darien,bolingbrook,tinley park etc;) so using other regional banks formula of having to reside within 50 miles of a branch those of us living in chicago,joliet,and aurora burbs should be okay if it is limited like regions bank promotion was,

S.AY
S.AY

Just applied online, $200 worth a shot

Laura
Laura

Applied. Live in CA. Funded with Chase FU, $250 charge notice from Chase immediately upon submitting app. Got same “Your application is currently under review” message as above.

Zubair
Zubair

Keep me posted too, I too live in CA. Very few bonuses out here in the west 🙁

Logan
Logan

how do we know what DD methods will work? Just use random bank accounts ACH transfer of $50 and hope for the best?

jack
jack

Any DP for Direct Deposit counts??

Pat
Pat

What are non pin based transactions? Does checking out at a grocery store using the debit card as credit count?

David
David

Any transaction that doesn’t require a PIN.

Laura
Laura

FYI, in the fees I see “Account Closing by Mail . . .$ 30.00” I can’t find any more info on this right now but for those of us out of state we may get dinged with that fee when it comes time to close.

Logan
Logan

Close via secure message after all funds have transferred out, always.

Laura
Laura

Ah, ok thanks Logan!

Traveler
Traveler

FYI – Article states two different dates for account closing termination fee, 180 & 120. I believe it’s 180, correct?

Laura
Laura

It’s 180 days on the fee schedule I received.

Alex
Alex

Doesn’t seem to be nationwide any more. Drop down for new customer lists only IL, OH, and IN

Gmoney
Gmoney

I applied 4 hours ago, and it was there. They gave me an account number so it made it seem like it was approved. We’ll see though. I just rechecked the application and there isn’t a dropdown for other states as Alex said.

Tim
Tim

GMoney, Which link did you use to get there? What browser did you use?

Adam D
Adam D

Online new checking account application age “Under maintenance” until 9am 2/4/17 EST…Im guessing this is the end for non-tristate applicants.

Jay
Jay

Drop down menu for other states has been removed for “New Customers”.

Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio are now the only states listed for “New Customers”.

Drop down menu is still an option for “Existing Customers”.

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