Banks Get Creative With New Customer Gifts

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It used to be that banks would throw in a new toaster when a customer opened a new account. But that was your grandfather’s bank account. Today, banks are getting much more creative with toys for new customers. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting “giveaways”.

  • At Flagstar Bank, new customers who deposit a minimum of $35,000 toward a 12-17 month CD, earn a free 15” HDTV. The Flagstar CD is currently paying a 2.50% APY.

Ever helpful, Flagstar will also send you a 1099 form so you can declare the value of the TV to the IRS at tax-time.

  • Up to May 15, Key Bank is offering a new Garmin (Stock Quote: GRMN) GPS gratis, as long as you open a new checking account at the bank. To get the gift, you’ll need to open a Key Bank business free checking account.

However, if you open an account and then close it within 180 days, you’ll be hit with a $25 early closure penalty. In addition, any overdrawn accounts (by July 17) will be “excluded from eligibility” according to the Key Bank web site.

  • HSBC (Stock Quote: HBC) is giving out fee Amazon (Stock Quote: AMZN) Kindles, those ubiquitous online reading tablets that can retail for up to $600 to customers who open up Premiere accounts at the bank.

To qualify for the Premiere account, you have to clear a high financial hurdle. New customers (current HSBC account holders aren’t eligible for the Kindle deal) need to maintain $100,000 in combined personal deposit and investment balances or $500,000 in combined personal deposit, investment, and credit/mortgage balances. But don’t fret, HSBC isn’t looking for the whole $100,000 right off the bat, you get 90 days to meet the bank’s balance requirement. And, if you don’t meet the fee requirement every month, HSBC will slap you with a monthly $50 maintenance fee.

No doubt about it, when times get tough, bank marketers can get creative, but you might have to bring a chunk of change to the table to qualify.

Related Stories:

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•    "Reward" Yourself With a Checking Account
•    Banks: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

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

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