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Banks Want You Back

As anyone who has ever tried to fix a bank error knows from bitter experience, banks often don’t seem to care about individual customers. For years they have operated as arrogant giants in the market, steamrolling over customers and charging exorbitant fees for any infractions. Sadly for the backroom boys, times have changed, and customers once more have the upper hand.

Banks are facing stiff competition from credit unions, online groups, and even other bankers. According to The Wall Street Journal, the top 15 banks are rolling out special incentives for new accounts in order to get more depositors coming to them. They’ve mailed out 75.2 million special offers for savings accounts and boosted incentives for checking accounts. This begs the question: How can you win in this scenario?

Account Opening Incentives

One way to win is by opening a new checking or savings account. The average incentive value for a new checking customer is $138, according to Mintel. It often comes in the form of a cash bonus for linking direct deposit to your checking account.

Why the payout? Banks look at checking accounts as “relationship” accounts that are hard to move. They think once they get you through the door, they will be able to keep you. Most customers, after all, aren’t going to go through the three to four hours it takes to switch accounts.

Take the time, especially if you don’t like your current bank. For Chase accounts, it’s a $125 bonus for checking and saving, and PNC Bank offers $100 for a checking account with direct deposit. Smaller community banks are also getting in the game, so stop by somewhere new to see what they’re offering as a promotion.

Interest Rate Boosts

Another way to win is with rising interest rates on savings deposits. Consumer deposits are up more than $1 trillion over the last 36 months according to Market Rates Insights, and the national savings rate is on the rise. With lousy options elsewhere and a burning desire to pay down debt, Americans want to build up their stores of cash on hand. Banks want to be sure that cash stockpiles come under their control.

One way they are sweetening the pot for savers is with higher interest rates. Leader Bank, for example, is offering 1.25% on a savings account that is linked with a checking account, well above the national average rate of .09% according to Bankrate.com. No, it’s still not what you deserve as a saver, but it is a step in the right direction.

Tips for Winning

To win at the offers and promotions game with banks, it’s important to keep one step ahead of them. Bank access to capital is changing, and they need your money, but that doesn’t mean they’ve given up on the fine print or the sneaky fees. Here are a few tips to evaluate your options:

  • Keep your needs first. Banks have plenty of rules, but what do you need? Don’t bank with someone for a $100 bonus if it means you’ll have to drive out of your way to find an ATM or won’t be able to use online banking.
  • Mind the fine print. US Bancorp is offering $100 for a new savings account, but it’s $50 now and $50 if the balance is still above $1,000 in a year. Dip your balance and lose your bonus.
  • Check for fees. Some accounts start with a bonus and then charge fees after the first year, or charge fees if there’s not a certain level of activity. Read rules carefully to walk out ahead.
  • Move groups of accounts. You can move your checking, your kid’s checking, and your spouse’s savings, so why not get triple bonuses and use the money for something the family needs? Run changes by on separate days or at separate branches to make sure each movement adds up to more rewards for you.
  • Be organized. Keep track of where you’ve moved things and why. This will help you evaluate the benefits of switching when new promotions are announced.

Banks want your capital, and you have the chance to shop around and make them pay for the privilege. Why not make up for a few years of bad behavior? Get out there and take advantage of every offer that makes sense — this year, next year, and every year that you can.

© Copyright Off The Grid News

6 comments

  1. Fed up American

    I have been a regular reader to this website. I’ve found most to be very informative. Some are very blatantly what should be an opposite of what this website is about. This is one of them.

    This is a reckless! Bank still don’t care. They’re luring customers with stuff like this. Banks then will use fine prints all over again and rob American Citizen. Banks only doing this because we see what they are. Now, they are put to shame for what they have done, people stopped using banks, now they want us back? Where were they the whole time they’ve been Nickelin’ and Dimin’ us? They still don’t care about us, they want our MONEY so they can rob us all over again. Screw Obama and Banksters!

    Whoever voted for Obama are stupid sheeples and look what Obama is doing to us now.

    Obama promised Jobs, Change, Better future, then does the opposite. When we all say he should be doing this, he tells us NO! That he’s gonna do his way, without Congress approval, trump Constitutions, our rights, our livelihood, Then he ask of us to compromise on debt ceiling, so whenever he wants to do something, he ask of us and EXPECT us to give in but he doesn’t give in to AMERICANS, only to Rothschild’s gangs/mafia. Obama is the worse President in HISTORY!

    We use our local Credit Unions for our vehicle loans, everything we pay with CASH! We will never use Bank for anything else! We do not have any good experience with Bank during our time with them. They’ve managed to nickel and dime us and we weren’t alone in this country who experienced this.

    Stop the WAR, Fraudster in Banks, Wall Street, and all other negative spendings, borrowing Social Security’s money, and letting Federal Reserve have all the control. Fed Reserves are owned by Rothschild’s gang, that is not in America. Federal Reserve should give us all of our money back that they’ve been stealing since they started. Rothschild is controlling everything, he wants to see America to bankrupt and go under!

    Obama’s using scare tactics to tell us that we won’t get our Social Security, Veterans Check, Medicare because he is twisting our arms to give in to raise DEBT CEILING. We all worked all of our lives paying Social Security Taxes, we are entitle to it. It’s our money. Obama wouldn’t be telling us this if he didn’t bail out so much of Corporate C.E.O.’s mistakes. If that was one of us, Obama wouldn’t bail us out at all and he isn’t helping us bail out with more jobs or decrease our time going to WAR and other stupid spending budget.

    Do NOT use BANKS owned by Fraudsters! FED RESERVE! This is a reckless article!

    OBAMA is not American Citizen and he is the SHAME and INSULT to America, for what we have build so long for, our Forefathers have turned in their graves. Obama is selling us out!

    Wake up, American! Stop being such a sheeple and grow some pair and fight against this Tyranny and other people in Wall Street and Banksters. Put stop to their crime. IMPEACH OBAMA! Find someone that is not controlled by Bilderberg and other Secret Groups who worry about what Elitist tells them, who have a common sense to run for Presidency and take back our Country and we shall rise from ashes again!

    Respectfully yours,

    Fed-Up American!

  2. I find almost of all ypur articles interesting and informative. But like with everything, in some instances we must delve deeper for ourselves to find truth. No administration since JFK was killed tels the truth. It even goes back to the early 1900s when it became expedient for our eleted officials to omit the truth while becoming millionaires after being elected. The current poltical parties in power share the same philosophy of witholding all the truth so we can make informed decions based on truth. Once elected, their promises are broken with impunity and we say ,What the Heck??? And we go on believing their lies! All elected offcials will talk about cutting Social security while refusing to cut their perks and benefits. It is Time to put our foot down on the Head of the snake, cut its head off and send evveryone home from Washington to get a real job!! PS the floating subscribe to Off The Grid window is driving me to NOT want to read your posts on my Blackberry. Please have a cut off button available! Thank you

  3. Another factor for big banks getting more customers is the planned failure of small community banks…remember, our government is “helping” us.

  4. Your better off hiding your money in a mattress.

  5. I am sorry, but I won’t do more than I must with banks then I must. For over 10 years I’ve been buying silver as I considered its gains to be alot more productive then tiny interest from banks. But I never dreamed ow high it and gold has gone and will prob continue for a while. But do you see another bubble building ? Being a reader of history, silver has always been used for buying, bartering, trading etc and always cheaper than gold, just don’t brag or talk about it, or keep it in a bank…….., grow as much food as you can, and I have recently got into sprouts. good luck to all as this progressive president and his party and backers, will always lie, smoke screen us or attack those who are judged tonot agree with them….. no debating, my way or the graveyard…..

  6. Some friends and neighbors got together for the holidays and we begin talking about every thing that was going on in the world. At one point in that conversation we began to talk about the banks and would we trust the banks or should we keep most of our money under the mattress? Some were talking about the upcoming crash and credit downgrade. May talked loosing money in the stop market and the fee’s that banks were charging them to do business with them. Some would say to buy gold and silver and other were saying to buy food and stuff to barter. Someone said,”The hackers are getting into every business that they can and so who can you trust to protect your money and investments”. I thought that mattress was looking safer and safer every day. Those in power and the politicians that they own ,have sold America out and we are at a point were the Republic looks like it’s about to go over the water fall. I’m not exactly sure what course of action me and my family will follow,but a great patriot once said “give me liberty or give me death”. that sound just about what i was thinking. I think I can trust my credit union,at least for a while. I’m still hearing that voice in my head and it is saying”Be prepared” Take care and god bless to all. SP

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