Banking Deals of the Week: June 3


Despite a 225-point run-up in the Dow Jones Industrial Index on Wednesday afternoon (the Dow finished up 53 points by the end of the day), the U.S. stock market certainly doesn’t reflect an economic recovery.

Weak numbers this week on key issues from unemployment to the index of leading economic indicators have kept the stock market in check. The DIJIA, along with the Standard & Poor’s 500, have both declined by 10% from their April highs. When that happens, economists usually signal that the stock market is in correction mode — in other words, investors are pulling back because they don’t believe an economic recovery is in full bloom (or any bloom, for that matter).

The lack of a full-blown U.S. economic recovery, coupled with the troublesome European debt picture, has investors on both continents pulling their money from stocks and plowing it into the bond market. That in turn pushes Treasury yields downward, and pushes bond prices up. In that type of environment, it’s tough for bank interest rates to make any headway, and that’s why we’re seeing lower certificate of deposit rates, and lower savings and checking account rates.

Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t find good bank rate deals — you just have to know where to look. That’s what Deals of the Week is all about.

Checking Account

KeyBank (Stock Quote: KEY) is leading off this week with a checking account deal that could earn you a free Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) iPod Touch, along with a $25 iTunes gift card.

The bank is offering the deal in two phases.

To get the iPod Touch, without the $25 gift card, open either a Key Express Free Checking or a Key Advantage Money Market Checking account by July 30, 2010. After you open the account, you’ll need to make one KeyBank Rewards debit card, along with a combination of two direct deposits and/or automatic payments worth at least $100 each, by October 1.

For the iPod Touch and the $25 gift card, open a Key Privilege Checking or a Key Privilege Select Checking account, and make the same moves by the same dates as specified in the first offer.

Who qualifies for the deal? According to the Key Bank web site, it goes down like this:

  • Individuals that are new to KeyBank and have not had or opened a KeyBank personal checking account in a year
  • Business entities that are new to KeyBank and have not had or opened a KeyBank business checking account in the last 12 months
  • Current Key Consumer clients that have not had or opened a KeyBank personal checking account in the last 12 months
  • Key consumer clients that are the secondary (not primary) owners on a Key checking account
  • Key consumer clients that have a Key Health Savings Account (HSA) but not a Key personal checking account
  • Key business clients that have a Key business checking account, but do not have a Key personal checking account
  • Key business clients that have not had or opened a KeyBank business checking account in the last 12 months
  • Key consumer clients that have a Key personal checking account but do not have a Key business checking account

Find out more at

Online Checking

PerkStreet Financial is out with an interesting offer this week: a $100 bonus for opening a PerkStreet online checking account with direct deposit.

Here are the details:

  • Open the online checking account.
  • Make two direct deposits of $500 or more.
  • Use your new debit card at least 25 times.

You’ll need to open the account online with a minimum initial deposit of $25. Once you fulfill the direct deposit and debit card requirements, the $100 will be credited to your checking account within 20 days.

The offer is only open to new PerkStreet customers — former customers who closed their account during the last year aren’t eligible.

According to PerkStreet, qualifying direct deposits are recurring electronic deposits of funds (via ACH) from third parties, including:

  • Your employer's payroll or pension
  • Social Security or other government benefits

PerkStreet says it “reserves the right to determine what qualifies as a direct deposit at our sole discretion.”

Find out more at

Interest Checking

Here’s an interesting deal, courtesy of Flagstar Bank.

You can either receive a $100 bonus or opt to earn a 2% APY for three months on balances of up to $100,000 in the bank’s S.M.A.R.T. personal checking account.

Considering that the average interest rate of a U.S. personal checking account is 1.21%, as measured by the BankingMyWay Weekly Interest Rate Tracker, a 2% rate for the first 90 days is a good deal. At the end of three months, your APY will revert to the standard Flagstar checking account rate (currently at 0.85%).

To get either option, you’ll need to open a personal checking account with a $50 minimum balance, and generate at least $250 per month in direct deposits.

Other terms of the deal include:

  • Direct deposit must be established within the first 60 days of opening the account.
  • The $100 bonus will be deposited into your account within 30 days after the first recurring direct deposit takes place.
  • All accounts must remain open and active for a minimum of six months.
  • If the checking account is closed within the first six months, Flagstar reserves the right to reclaim the $100 deposit or extra interest.
  • The 2% APY is guaranteed for three months after account opening. The maximum deposit is $100,000.

Get more details at

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