Banking Deals of the Week: July 21

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It once again seems like one step forward, two steps back for the economy — and for bank interest rates.

The latest example of that trend is news from the Federal Reserve that the U.S. economy is downshifting, with no guarantee that a double-dip recession isn’t looming.

The Fed also isn’t ruling out raising interest rates, which would be great news for bank rate investors. "However, members noted that in addition to continuing to develop and test instruments to exit from the period of unusually accommodative monetary policy, the Committee would need to consider whether further policy stimulus might become appropriate if the outlook were to worsen appreciably," the minutes reported.

Consequently, it’s more of the same for bank interest rates, with a low-rate environment keeping a lid on savings appreciation opportunities for investors. That once again makes it even more imperative to scour the countryside for good bank deals and cash in where possible.

Such deals are out there and we’ve found more of them this week.

Business Checking

JPMorgan Chase (Stock Quote: JPM) has built a good reputation with the small business community, offering deal after deal where business owners can get a little more in their wallet after opening a business checking account.

Well, Chase is at it again with a $100 offer to open a business checking account. It’s pretty simple — you get $100 for opening a business checking account with an initial deposit of $1,000 or more. The offer is good through Aug. 20.

The deal works with any Chase business checking account, including:

  • Chase BusinessClassic Checking
  • BusinessClassic Checking with Interest
  • Chase Advanced BusinessChecking
  • Advanced Business Checking with Interest
  • Commercial Checking
  • Commercial Checking with Interest
  • Chase BusinessPlus Extra Checking

To earn the $100, you’ll need to make five debit card purchases per statement period and link the account to a Chase Business credit card. Other criteria may apply, like linking the account to a Chase personal bank account.

To get the details and apply for the account, visit Chase.com.

Credit Card

Discover (Stock Quote: DSC) is out with a decent credit card deal — a $75 bonus plus a nice 0% APY for the first 12 months as a new Discover More Credit Card customer.

The deal especially makes sense if you plan on paying down existing credit card debt. All you need to do is to switch your current card balance over to the Discover More Card and pay off the debt at no additional interest.

Oh, and earn $75 in the process.

To get the great deal, you’ll need to spend at least $500 within the first 90 days owning the card. You’ll also need to keep your account balance paid up in full each month (so don’t use the card for big purchases). If you don’t manage to clear those barriers, your APY could rise to as high as 20.99%.

Let’s be candid here. Credit card companies are betting that you won’t clear those barriers — that’s why they offer the deal in the first place. But if you have the discipline and manage the card like a pro, you can definitely cash in on both the $75 and the 0% interest rate.

There is some decent leeway in meeting the monthly balance requirements. Discover notes that “Your due date is at least 25 days after the close of each billing period. We will not charge you any interest on new purchases, or any portion of a new purchase, paid by the due date on your current billing statement if you paid your entire balance on your previous billing statement in full by the due date on that statement.”

To apply for the card, go to DiscoverCard.com.

Personal Checking

ING Direct is offering a $50 bonus with its signature ING Direct Electric Orange Checking Account.

It’s easy as pie. Just click on the ING website and plug in the Reference Code E7NSTND.

There’s no clear-cut expiration date on the deal, which tells us one thing — if you want the deal don’t wait to apply.

Here’s all you need to do:

  • Click on 'Apply Now.' Be sure to enter your reference code during the account opening process.
  • Activate your Electric Orange Debit MasterCard and use it to make at least three signature-based purchases within 45 days of account opening.
  • Your $50 bonus will automatically be deposited into your account on day five after the account is opened.

For more info, visit INGdirect.com

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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